Preparing for an interview


woman in front of rock faceFor 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 before their first interview to perfect a suitable approach. Through preparing for an interview, they needn’t be scary or daunting and these tips will help you prepare you to perform your best.


If you don’t know what to expect from an interview scenario then you’re always going to be taken by surprise. The expression ‘better the devil you know’ holds especially true in relation to interview prep so the more you practice with simulated interviews and sample questions, the better prepared you’ll be for the real thing. There is no way of knowing in advance what questions will be asked but you can anticipate and pre-empt interview questions by carefully analysing job specifications and identifying key competencies.


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. Going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep will leave you refreshed and ready for the next morning and it’s important that you get up in time to prepare yourself a large, satisfying breakfast. Leave with plenty of time to get to your destination in order to avoid the additional stress of arriving late and flustered. Exercising before your interview releases endorphins and suppresses negative energy which will put you in a positive frame of mind before the interview.


The way that you present yourself to prospective employers will help to determine how they formulate their first impressions of you. No-one will be expecting a full makeover but it’s important that you make an effort with your appearance - smart business dress is very much the order of the day for most employers. Try not to go overboard with makeup, aftershave or perfume.


In most instances, the candidates that have made it to the interview stage will have already impressed with their CVs and application forms, so face-to-face interviews are a means of determining whether or not you’re suitable on a personal level. Employers like to bring in people who will be an asset to their team as much as a cog in the workforce, so those who come across as friendly and personable will have a better chance of being offered the job than those who fail to let their personalities shine through. If you can charm your interviewers then all the better - if they like you on a personal level then the battle’s almost won.


The final piece of advice when you're preparing for an interview is to be patient. You won’t be automatically offered a job just because you’ve attended an interview and a rejection letter shouldn’t be taken as any criticism of your skills or experience. It’s easy to be disheartened once you’ve been turned down for one, two or more jobs but it’s important to keep your chin up - keep up the momentum and eventually your chance will come.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. 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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