Preparing for a successful Job Interview

Preparing for a successful Job Interview

Interviews come in all forms, it could be anything from a casual chat the feared panel interrogation. However, whatever interview situation you find yourself in our basic interview advice will help you to prepare for each eventuality.


Do your homework

You probably hear this from every recruiter you have ever spoken to whilst preparing for an interview, however it really is vital! You must research the company before hand and make sure you know as much about them as you can. Start by Googling a company or using their own website as a source of information. Looking at the company on social media will allow you to explore the type of image that the company wants to put out there for public eye. Websites like will allow you to see what employees of the company think about the company and will help you to gauge a better understanding of the company culture.

Key points to look at are the company history, how the current business operates including the team structure and if there are any publicised plans for the future. By knowing this information, you will be able to plan questions for the interviewer which will demonstrate the knowledge that you have about the company, but also further express the interest you have in the role with genuine interest and enthusiasm.

Start with the basics

What was always the first rule when completing exams at school? Read the question! Interviews are no different- make sure you re-read the job description and pull out all of the key skills and experience that are required for the job. Tick of the skills you have and think of an example of how you have used these skills before, so you will easily be able to recall this in the interview. This way you will be able to clearly and confidently explain how your past experience makes you the best candidate for the job. It’s all about identifying how you are the best fit for the company, so concentrate on the benefits you bring to the table such as familiarity with the industry or systems.

Keep calm and stay focused

It is easy to get overwhelmed when prepping for a job interview. Remember to keep your cool, as all the questions can make even the most confident interview stumble. Don’t be afraid to take a second, pause, and compose yourself. If you don’t understand a question, then say so. This will come across far better than stumbling and getting it wrong. Collect yourself together and carry on keeping to the question.

Stay upbeat

The first and last impression that you give the interviewer should be positive, this leaves the with no doubt that you are the right person for their organisation. Make sure you don’t grumble or groan about your previous employers when you explain why you left your previous roles. Try to make any negatives in your past sound like a positive in your development. For example, if you were over-worked and underappreciated then tell them you left for a more fulfilling career. If you have found yourself in the situation where a period of redundancy has left, you with a career gap then make sure you explain what you did with this time to better yourself and your professional skills set.

If you find that the interviewer throws in a curveball question, use this opportunity to stand out from the crowd by answering with an innovative and memorable answer. Always be prepared to answer this question… where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Here are our top 5 tips to a successful interview!

  • First impression: Smile and offer a firm handshake, then make sure you speak clearly and confidently as you introduce yourself and thank the interviewer for giving you this opportunity. Remember their name – you will need it later!  Secrets to a Successful Interview.
  • Organise:Get comfortable – take off your coat, put your bag or briefcase down and if you need notes or pen and paper to write down details, get them ready.
  • Keep calm and communicate: Listen carefully to the question and make sure you answer it. If you’re confused or uncertain about exactly what you’ve been asked, say so and repeat it back if necessary, rather than talking at a tangent and completely missing the point. Stay on topic and once you’ve stated your case – stop! Don’t be tempted to keep talking to fill any awkward silences. Be clear, confident and concise.
  • Ask Questions: If you’ve practised, planned and prepared, you already have half a dozen questions ready to impress the interviewer with your insight.
  • Last impression: Smile once more, shake their hand and remember to make eye contact and thank the interviewer by name for their time.

If you are still feeling nervous about your up and coming interview, talk to your Rayner Fianancial recruiter and we will be happy to reassure you, and remind you… you can do it.

Preparing for a successful Job Interview