Preparation is the key to getting a job

by | 25.09.20

Being prepared is essential if you want to get a job in this market. Whilst for many years you could bluff your way through an interview, nowadays that is impossible. Employers are being overly selective when recruiting, they have a huge bank of candidates to choose from, so believe me they are being fussy. Its all about how impressive you are in an interview and in order to perform at your best it is crucial you are prepared. Here are some steps you should take leading up to your interview

Stage 1

Before the interview

Once you know you have an interview you need to start to prepare. Some interviews are very short notice ie: tomorrow but generally you will have at least two or three days to get ready. So this is what you need to do:



You must research the company before you go for the interview. Search for information online. Know exactly what the company do and ideally who their customers are. You must also look at the job description, read it very carefully and understand what your day to day duties will be.


Get your questions together

When asked by the interviewer if you have any questions, have a few ideas up your sleeve. This will show the interviewer that you’re prepared, enthusiastic and committed to getting the job. Try to think of less obvious than normal questions as this will set you apart from other candidates  and definitely don’t ask me, me, me questions. Me, me, me questions include asking about promotion opportunities, salary and holidays


Practice interview techniques

Think beforehand about how you can best demonstrate your skills and experience in the interview. If you do this you will feel more confident on the day. List what parts of the job you can confidently say you can do and know your key skills ie: customer service, IT knowledge, administration abilities etc.


Know how to get there

Think beforehand about how you are going to get to the interview. Look up public transport routes and timetables, or find out where you can park. Plan how long the journey will take. Do a practice run if necessary. Aim to arrive 10 minutes early , no earlier and no later.


Don’t be distracted

On the day of the interview be fully focused. You must give the interview your full attention. Don’t arrange to meet friends or relatives before or after the interview and do not make more then one appointment. It is important that you do not have any distractions



Stage 2

The morning of the interview

On the morning of the interview you need to prepare yourself really well. You need to feel confident and relaxed so you really need to get in the right mindset. Here are some tips:


Get a good nights sleep

Don’t cram any last minute interview preparation in just before bedtime as this could disrupt your sleep. Relax before bed to ensure you get a restful nights slumber so you’re firing on all cylinders the next day.


Have a good meal before you go

Fuel yourself with slow releasing carbohydrates prior to your interview, such as cereal for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch. This will keep your energy levels up, so you will stay alert and won’t suffer energy slums. Avoid alcohol at all costs, one whiff of drink will loose you the job.


Try to be calm and confident

It is normal to be nervous before an interview but try to conquer your nerves. Take deep breaths and keep thinking positive, self affirmation thoughts. If you have done your research and studied the job description you should have nothing to worry about.


Do a final check

Give the job description and your research notes a final read through to keep everything fresh in your mind. Now is not the time to be doing new research or checking the job specification. Now is to late.


Have any required documentation with you

Make sure you’ve got a copy of your CV with you as well as any supporting information like references or qualifications. Pop a notepad and pen in your bag just in case you need to write anything down.


Dress to impress

Make sure you dress appropriately for the job interview. You must look professional. Try checking out the LinkedIn profiles of the Company’s employees to get an idea on how they dress. Put out your outfit the night before so it’s ready for you to put on and go.


Stage 3

When you arrive at the interview

It is really important that when you arrive at the interview you make a good first impression. Normally the first person you will meet will be the company receptionist. Make him/her your friend they could be part of the decision process, this also applies to whoever comes to collect you and takes you into the interview room. Be friendly and pleasant, here are some other tips:


Wait professionally

If you are sat waiting for the interview make sure you have a professional approach. Adopt a positive, confident body posture. Now isn’t the time to check your social media accounts or WhatsApp your mates. Switch your phone off before you enter the building and leave it alone until after the interview. If there are any corporate brochures to hand, flick through these while you wait.


Make a good first impression

It is a fact that first impressions do count, so as soon as the interviewer approaches you ensure you come across as friendly, professional and courteous. Stand up straight, smile and make eye contact. In normal times you would shake the interviewers hand but COVID doesn’t allow this. Say hello, introduce yourself and thank them for taking the time to see you. Being liked immediately will go along way to you getting the job.


So to summarize give yourself the best chance possible for interview success by preparing well in the lead up to your interview. Use the time before to brush up on your interview techniques and knowledge about the company. Get a good nights sleep the day before the interview. Use the interview to demonstrate how prepared you are. Believe me in this market you need impress and if you follow these guidelines this is how you can do it.


Good luck!