How to be great at interviews (for candidates based in the UK)

Despite the news that the job market is in crisis and the jobs may be scarce, it is always a good idea to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more before you fill in an application. While the hints and tips below are aimed at the UK audience, most of them can be helpful for everyone. A few small changes to approaching the application process can make a massive difference to your performance on the day.

  • Get your ducks in a row – you will be competing against lots of other candidates, so make sure your CV stands out of the crowd. Read more about CVs here (
  • Do your research – well done, you’ve been invited to an interview! Now the hard work begins. Start by researching the company, what they do, their successes and values. Think about how your skills and experience can add value to what they do.
  • Nail the questions – study the job advert and description and prepare example answers for the questions that may come up. For example, if you the advert mentions problem-solving, think of a time when you solved a problem, what you did and why, and what you have learned from that experience. And don’t forget to prepare a couple of questions for your interviewers, such as ‘What project would be the first one for me to get involved in? or ‘What are the development opportunities in this role?’
  • Know where you are going – make sure you know how to get to the interview and turn up on time. It helps to pack all the documents and lay out your clothes the night before.
  • Release the stress – interviews are stressful, so make sure you do some exercise or use breathing techniques to calm you down beforehand. Some find a five-minute meditation helpful; others prefer a sprint around the block. Do what feels right for you!
  • Be on time and be kind – arrive at your interview 10-15 minutes early and remember to be polite to everyone you interact with.
  • Be yourself and do your best – remember that if you have prepared well, you can only do your best. An interview is an opportunity for you to see if your chosen organisation is the right place for you and them to see if you are the right fit. Be positive and enthusiastic about the role and be yourself.
  • Say thank you – it is always a good idea to follow up an interview with a note thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating your interest in the position. Then it is all about being patient while you are waiting to hear back. 

If you want more detailed tips on how to do well in interviews, check this infographic.


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