Interview hints and tips

You rarely get a second chance to create a good first impression, so in your first interview these few things are crucial:

  • Be prepared and know your CV

  • Do some company research

  • Dress smartly

  • Arrive on time

  • Have some questions prepared

Before the interview

Ensure you have a full job description and are aware of the format that the interview will take.

Do some company research. The company website is a great place to start. You may well be asked what you know about the company, so impress the interviewer with your knowledge. For example, what the company does, how long they have been established, its size, structure, turnover, market, aims for the future, and current competitors.

Ensure you know where the company is located and ideally do a “dummy run”. Always allow additional time for unavoidable delays. Arriving late or flustered does not create a good impression.

Check the time of the interview and the name and position of the person who will be interviewing you.

On the day

Take a contact number with you, just in case you are delayed.

Dress appropriately – a suit is usually a “must” for interviews and portrays professionalism.

Ensure you are well groomed, tidy and not doing anything which may be seen as inappropriate behaviour for an important job interview (for example, no chewing gum).

The interview

The interview is a two-way process, and is your opportunity to ensure that the job and company are right for you.

Here are some top tips:

  • Ensure you come across as friendly, approachable and enthusiastic

  • Be polite to all staff you meet – you never know, they may well have a say in who does or who does not get offered the job

  • Listen carefully to questions and allow the interviewer to finish speaking before responding

  • Don’t worry about pausing before you answer a question as this shows you are considering it seriously

  • Where possible, give practical evidence of any statements you make

  • Never criticise former employers or work colleagues

  • Maintain eye contact, relax and show interest in what the interviewer says

Be prepared for questions such as:

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What interests you most about the role?

  • Why should we appoint you?

  • What is important to you in a role?

  • What was your greatest success in your last position?

  • How would your manager or colleagues describe you?

You will usually have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview – think about what is important to you. Questions you may wish to ask include:

  • What training can I expect on joining your company?

  • How many job seekers are you interviewing for this role?

  • Are there any parts of my CV over which you have concerns, or feel others applying for this position have covered better?

  • When do you envisage making a decision?


Make sure you have confirmed your interest in the job.

Conclude the interview with a handshake, remembering to thank the interviewer for their time.

After the interview contact your Select consultant and let them know how the interview went.

Go back to the Job Seeker Advice Hub