Preparing for an Interview: A Guide


Looking for a job can be an extensive and gruelling process, so once you have an interview, it can feel overwhelming. The key to securing the job is how well you prepare to get yourself interview-ready. You should use the interview as an opportunity to show your qualifications for the job, your interest in the company and to present your personality. 

When you go into an interview prepared, you will feel much more confident and can confidently answer any questions you might be asked. We want to share some tips to help you prepare for your interview and set yourself up for success. 

Types of Interviews

There are multiple types of interviews you may face throughout your job search.

  • Telephone interviews are often used in the early stages of the hiring process. Especially when filtering out a large number of applicants and advancing qualified candidates to a face-to-face interview. A telephone interview usually takes around half an hour.
  • Face-to-face is one of the most common forms of interviews. In a face-to-face interview you will be interviewed at the employer’s office by one or more people. These interviews generally are around 45 minutes, but can go up to two hours and may include tests or exercises.
  • Video interviews are more prevalent in today’s technological world, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Video interviews may be live or pre-recorded and usually take about an hour.
    A live video interview is similar to a face-to-face interview, where you speak to one or more interviewers in real-time using a service like Skype or Zoom, but should still be treated as you would having a meeting in your employer’s office. Live video interviews allow companies to hire from anywhere in the world.
    A pre-recorded interview consists of you watching a video or screen of questions, and then responding by recording a video and occasionally within a certain time limit. Recording yourself may feel awkward, but practising ahead of time will help ease your nerves.
  • Assessment centres will conduct interviews with multiple candidates simultaneously and likely involve a presentation, team exercises, and psychometric tests that identify your skills, knowledge, and personality. This type of interview usually will be a full working day, though recently has become adapted to being held online.

Preparing for the Interview

Having a plan ahead of time makes your interview a lot easier to get through and also sets you apart from any other candidates. There are a few ways to get started on your interview prepping:

  1. Read the job description thoroughly
  2. Review your curriculum vitae (CV)
  3. Research the company
  4. Practice interview

Thoroughly Read the Job Description

By reading through the job description, you can fully understand the qualifications, qualities, and background the employer is looking for. This information can help you determine which qualities and qualifications you possess that you may want to emphasise. By understanding the job description, you can also get a better idea of the company as a whole, allowing you to answer potential questions that the interviewer may ask.

Review Your CV

Once you’ve determined what the employer is looking for in candidates based on the job description, review your CV to pinpoint qualifications you may want to elaborate on during your interview. The employer may want you to explain further how your professional background and experience will fit into the role and its expectations. Take this time to also think about how this job will fit into your future career goals and the ways it can fulfil your personal and professional goals.

Research the Company

When you better understand the company and the position you are interviewing for, you can gather information on how you will fit in with future coworkers, management, and the company culture.

Some ways to research a company before your interview include:

  • The company’s website and their ‘About Us’ page
  • The company’s history, mission, and values
  • Their social media
  • Press releases and articles within the news
  • Professional networking platforms
  • National reporting or professional industry sites for information like employee satisfaction and salary reports

If there is any information that you are curious about when you are researching the company, bring it up in your interview. The interviewer may be impressed that you did your research and can set you apart from a candidate based on your interest.

Practice Interview

Going over common interview questions is a great way to prepare for your interview. When you think of how you would answer potential questions ahead of time, you can appear more calm, collected, and eloquent in answering them in your interview. Make sure to talk about any skills you have, or past accomplishments and how you will be able to integrate these qualities into your role.

The Day of Your Interview

Before the day of your interview, you should determine where your interview is located, the travel time it takes to get there, and what mode of transportation will work best and is the most convenient. Planning this out allows you to ensure you will arrive on time and demonstrate your professionalism.

The day of your interview, here are a few steps that can ensure everything runs smoothly:

  • Leave early: It is important to give yourself extra time to account for any traffic or travel delays, even if you have already determined your route or know the estimated travel time.

    Arriving 15 minutes early is a great way to show you are interested in the position and can plan ahead. During this time, you can mentally prepare for the interview, review your CV, and get familiar with the layout of the building.
  • Save interview contact information: If something unexpected happens, have your interviewer’s contact information available to let them know about the problem. Try to give them enough notice and respect their time.

Trust BBU, the Best Recruitment Agency in London

If you are about to embark on the excitement of a new role or looking for your next opportunity and aren’t sure where to start your new job search, BBU is here to help. We help candidates find great new career opportunities, offer CV help and interview prep to properly place you with a job and place of business that suits you as an individual. We want to know your skills, experience, and personality to get you interviews for jobs that suit you best.

Get in contact with us on 01628 674 805 or email us here to find out how we can help you secure your next role.

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