Preparing for an interview – before, on the day and after!


woman preparingFor those who have been out of work for some time or are new to the job market entirely, the interview process can often represent a significant stumbling block. Interviews can be more than a little nerve-wracking - particularly for those who are unsure of what’s expected of them, so it’s important that job searchers take time to prepare effectively to ensure they deliver a successful interview.

Preparing for an interview needn’t be scary or daunting and these tips will help you prepare you to perform your best.

Before the interview
  • Research - Researching the company prior to the interview will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the organisation and industry. This will help you articulate how your skills, knowledge and values match to those of the business. As well as the company website, look at social media platforms including LinkedIn, so you are up to date with any company news. Find the interviewers on LinkedIn so you can familiarise yourself with their backgrounds and role in the business.
  • Understand the type of interview - Ahead of your interview, try and find out what type of interview you are having to support you with your preparation. There are different types of interviews and assessments that you might be asked to do, depending on the type of role, the industry, or the stage you’re at in the interview process. The good news is being familiar with what you might come up against can help you feel ready.
  • Pre-empt interview questions – Use the job description to pre-empt the interview questions you may be asked and plan your answers in advance. Prepare structured examples that demonstrate the competencies required using the STAR technique. Practise them out loud. Preparing your responses will help you communicate why you would be a good fit for the position.
On the day
  • Preparing for an interview requires more than a little practice. Nerves are natural, so you can expect them on the morning of your interview, but there’s a lot that you can do beforehand to help you deal with them effectively. You may not feel like it but make sure you eat something, ideally a meal that contains Vitamin E, Omega 3 and antioxidants. This can improve brain functionality and help you stay alert. If you are able to exercise, this can help release endorphins and suppress negative energy which will put you in a positive frame of mind before the interview. If your interview is in person, leave with plenty of time to get to your destination to avoid the additional stress of arriving late and flustered.
After the interview
  • Post-interview evaluation - Evaluate how things went as soon as possible through some post-interview evaluation. After the interview make a note of who you met at the company, any details about the role that were discussed and, if salary was mentioned, what was said? You may have a few interviews on the go at any one time, so you need to write information down whilst its fresh. It’s also useful to refer back to this information ahead of starting the role, if you are successful.
  • Send a follow up email - A follow up will give you the opportunity to reinforce your strengths, address areas of weakness or reservations that were mentioned during the interview. It also provides an opportunity to emphasise areas of experience that you didn’t discuss during the interview. Timing is very important when sending a thank you emails you want the interviewer to remember who you are. Aim to get the email to them within 48 hours.
  • Embrace the setbacks – Not every interview will result in a job offer. It's easy to be disheartened once you’ve been turned down a job but it’s important to understand that setbacks are part of the job search process - keep up the momentum and eventually your chance will come.

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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