Tips on how to prepare for a job interview

Tips on how to prepare for a job interview

Before the interview

  • Be clear about why you want the job. Make sure you understand what the job involves and what the company does.
  • Know your CV inside out. It creates a bad impression if you’re not able to talk about your qualifications, interests and experience.
  • Have a list of answers to possible questions ready. Try to anticipate what you will be asked and practise answering questions out loud.
  • Some interviews are based on the competencies (skills) needed to do the job.  These are usually outlined in the job description. When preparing for competency-based interviews, base examples of your skills on the indicators outlined under each competency.
  • Presentation is very important. You should dress suitably for the interview.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • Take all interviews seriously no matter how informal they may seem.

At the interview

  • Make eye contact with the interviewer and greet them politely.
  • Be honest about why you want the job or have left a previous job. If you are leaving an old job, be positive about the reasons for your decision.
  • Acknowledge your weaknesses but present them as strengths or opportunities to develop.
  • Expect the unexpected such as awkward questions or a sudden request to demonstrate a skill.
  • Be positive, be confident and smile. 

How to complete an application form

  • Read through the whole form and the instructions before filling in any sections.
  • Photocopy, or write the questions on rough paper and answer them before you fill in the form.
  • Follow any instructions as to how the form should be completed. For example, some forms ask you to use black ink or block capitals only
  • Answer all parts of every question. If the question does not apply to you then mark it ‘not applicable’ or ‘N/A’.
  • Keep a copy of the completed application form to read over before your interview.
  • Make sure you use the correct address, or email address, to send the application form to.
  • Check spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Questions you might be asked at interview

  • Can you talk us through your CV?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why do wish to leave your current position?
  • What were you doing in your last job?
  • What did you like or dislike about your last job?
  • What have you been doing since your last job?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you describe a difficult situation at work and how you overcame it?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment?