Interview Skills for Candidates

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are and what qualifications you have, if you can’t impress your interviewers on the day then you’re unlikely to be offered the job. So, to impress at interview, its important that you first take the time to prepare thoroughly.

Interview Preparation

Our recruitment team are here to help you

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have before the interview about the recruitment process. Its important for us to match you with a role that meets your requirements, and its in all our interests that both you and the company you interview with are a good fit. So, if you’ve any concerns or queries about the day, feel free to talk to our consultants – use our expertise about the company and the industry itself to your benefit.


Before your interview, take the time to find out as much as you can about the organisation and position you’re applying for. You can do this by visiting their website, paying special attention to the company’s ‘Mission Statement’ and what their objectives are. You’ll also want to prepare questions to ask at the interview about the team you’ll be working with and what your specific work role might entail on a daily basis. You can do this by analysing the job description and tailoring your questions to focus on the more important aspects of the job.


Your interviewer(s) will have already looked at your CV, but they’re likely to ask you to describe more about yourself. They want to know that your experience and personality suit the role and team you’ll be working with. You can prepare some examples about experience you’ve had in a similar post or situations where you’ve used skills that match this position. You could include details of any challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame these as a way of strengthening your responses to the interviewers’ questions.

Attending the Interview

Many companies will be interviewing more than one candidate on the same day, so its important to ensure you arrive on time, ideally ten – fifteen minutes early. Plan your journey beforehand and allow extra time for transport delays. That way you’ll be calmer and more collected when you arrive.
The first impression you make is so important, so together with arriving in good time, make sure you present yourself appropriately. Even if the company has a casual dress code, its usually best to dress smartly, comfortably and professionally on the day. Your first impression also includes how confident you appear – remember, they’ve seen from your CV that your experience and skills to some extent match what they’re looking for, so its important to be sure of yourself. Keep in the back of your mind that what you have to offer could be a valuable asset to their company.
During the interview, try to make eye contact with all of the interviewers, if there’s more than one in the room. Smile and answer questions they ask you honestly and be positive about your previous experience. Speaking clearly, calmly and confidently enhances your impression, and try to pause in order to think before you talk. Even though you may have prepared answers for likely questions, some interviewers chose to include off-the-wall questions to see how you’d react in unexpected situations. Don’t be phased by this; on the whole interviewers aren’t trying to trip you up. If you’re not sure what to say, then play for time by asking them to expand on their question. If you feel nerves getting the better of you then take a deep breath and make a conscious effort to slow your answers down.
Remember as well that an interview is a two-way process – its an opportunity for the interviewer to find out more about you and also for you to find out more about the company and what your role will cover. Be sure then to ask questions when given the space to do so, to demonstrate your interest in the role and your desire to understand the position better. This has the added benefit of giving your prospective employer the opportunity to see that you’ve taken the time to prepare.

Remote Interviews

In recent years, companies have increasingly embraced remote interviews via platforms such as Skype and Zoom. If yours is a remote interview then there are certain additional points to consider:
Before the interview, make sure all your technology is working properly and that you have sufficient charge on your device for the duration of the meeting
Its advisable to dress appropriately, even though your interviewer may not be able to see your full body. Wearing pyjama bottoms, for example, may be possible, but you’ll feel more professional if you dress as though you were attending in person
Be sure to choose an appropriate location which is quiet and where you won’t be disturbed. Its better if you can be alone in the room to avoid distractions and be aware that the interviewer will be able to see your surroundings

After the Interview

Be sure to end the interview on a positive note by smiling and thanking your interviewers for their time. It can also create a great impression if the next day, you follow up by sending them an email to reiterate your continued interest in working for the company.

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