Our friends at CV-Library explain how to NAIL your next job interview…

Published: 17th September 2019 | Author: Kate Howes


Hello dear reader. It has been a while!

We’ve been busy-busy recently, more so than usual as we’ve been filling jobs AND making our new office ready for us to move into. Exciting! That does mean that we’ve been a bit slack on the ol’ news front, unfortunately.

However, our good pals at CV-Library have once again stepped in and have provided some words of wisdom on interview preparation and performance – a nifty guide for anyone who is looking for a new job or is currently in the process of attending interviews. Aren’t they great?! So here goes, take it away CV-Library….

How   to   nail   your   next   job   interview

Feeling apprehensive about an upcoming job interview? If so, don’t worry! It’s only natural to be nervous about meeting a potential employer and proving that you’re the ideal fit for the job; even the most confident of people can struggle when interviewing. The good news is that as long as you know a few tricks of the trade, you’ll nail your next job interview and make a great impression.

In fact, you can make it a lot less daunting by trying not to see it as a mammoth task. Instead, break it down into key steps and take each as it comes. After all, there are a few areas you’ll need to tackle before you go in and meet your interviewer; such as researching the company and preparing key questions to ask.

Then, you’ve got to think about the interview itself. What will you wear? How will you get there? Who are you meeting with? Most importantly, how can you keep those pesky nerves from impacting your performance.

Finally, don’t forget about what happens after the interview. While you might think it’s in the employer’s court to follow-up with you; you may actually impress them by reaching out yourself.

If you’re still not sure where to start then sit back, relax and read our top tips on how to nail your next job interview.

Do    your    research

If you don’t prepare for an interview, you aren’t going to make a great impression, it’s as simple as that. Employers want to hire people that appear to have a genuine interest in the role and the company; not people who haven’t put any time and effort into the meeting.

Often, they may send you over some relevant webpages to look at before the interview. Make sure you read these thoroughly and check out any company social media profiles to get a feel of what it’s like to work there. Finally, do a quick search of the company via Google News.

In doing so, you’ll start to build a picture of how the company operates, how it’s performing, who its competitors are and so on. This is useful information that will help you form some questions to ask at the end of the interview; whether they’re about the company or the job itself.

We suggest preparing a range of different questions to ask. Some of these may get covered throughout the interview, so be sure to have them written down in case you miss anything. Great questions might include:

  • What does success look like in this role?
  • What would my first week look like?
  • Why are you hiring for this role now?
  • Are there development opportunities in this role?

Dress    appropriately

When it comes to the day itself, it’s important think about what you’re going to wear. Make sure your outfit is clean and ironed well in advance of the interview and consider having a back-up in case something goes wrong. Alongside this, please make sure it’s something you feel comfortable in. Interviews can be scary enough, not least when your outfit is too tight or you feel self-conscious.

If you aren’t sure what to wear, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the recruiter or hiring manager. As a rough guide, always stick to smart; even if you know the dress code is more casual.

Alongside this, don’t over-do it on the hair/make-up/after-shave. You want to make a positive impression and for the interviewer to be focussed on your performance; not the over-powering smell of your perfume or a distracting hairstyle.

Calm   any   pre-interview   nerves

Ok, we know this is easier said than done. But, before you walk in there you need to try and calm those pre-interview nerves. Start by concentrating on your breathing; this will help to regulate your heart-beat and give you something to focus on. Breathe in through your nose for five long counts and out through your mouth for the same amount of time.

If in doubt, go for a quick walk before it’s due to start. Fresh air can do wonders for the brain and may even help to maximise your performance in the interview. You could also try giving yourself a pep talk or calling a friend or family member to help you stay cool and collected.

An important point to remember is here is that you can often turn nerves into positive adrenaline to help boost your performance. So don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling anxious. Stick a smile on your face and push through; you’ll be great!

Arrive   on   time   (and   not   too   early!)

If there’s one way to make a bad impression in a job interview it’s by arriving late. It really isn’t that hard to get somewhere on time and unless there are some extenuating circumstances (for example, extreme weather conditions), then the interviewer isn’t going to be happy.

If in doubt, practice the route to the location a few days before and always factor in peak travel time. Consider leaving a little earlier just to be safe. You’ll thank yourself later!

At the same time, make sure you aren’t too early. You don’t want to catch your interviewer off-guard or rush them. Aim to get there five minutes before the interview is due to start as a safe bet.

Be    enthusiastic

It’s important to show a genuine interest in everyone you meet. Shake hands with your interviewer, make eye contact and smile. Be engaged with what they’re saying and stay focussed. There’s nothing worse than a candidate that appears bored in an interview!

Alongside this, show enthusiasm for the role you’re interviewing for. Refer back to those questions you prepared and make sure you find out as much information as possible. An interview should be a two-way dialogue and it’s your opportunity to see if the role is the right fit for you.

Ask   about   next   steps

As the interview draws to a close, make sure you ask them about next steps. After all, they might have other candidates to interview, or they may be hoping to make their decision within the next few days. Either way being keen and asking about it means you won’t be waiting around for an answer.

Follow – up

It’s always a good idea to follow-up with the interviewer after you meet with them. Even if it’s just to say thank you for their time. Being polite and courteous can get you far in life and it will only take up five minutes of your time.

This is also a good tactic if you haven’t heard back from them after a few days. There’s no harm in asking if there’s an update on their decision.

Nail   your   next   job   interview

Hopefully, these tips should help you to nail your next job interview. Ultimately, as long as you prepare in advance, stay focussed, build up a strong rapport with the interviewer and follow-up afterwards, you’re sure to make a great impression. Good luck!


CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board, advertising a range of roles across the country, from Edinburgh, to London. It also owns an array of other career sites, including Engineering Jobs.