Is it a while since your last interview?

shutterstock-drowninginpeopleAs an Interview Coach, Interview Trainer and CV writer, many of my customers approach me for help with interviews. I have trained employers in how to interview candidates (you would be surprised how many managers loathe interviewing!) and I have coached hundreds of candidates in how to prepare for – and win – at interview.

One of the most common questions I am faced with by my customers is ‘How do I prepare properly?’ Here is a simple method you can follow for getting ready for interview:

  • Recognise that it takes time and action to prepare for an interview. An interview is not a conversation that you can hope to wing it through. You owe it to yourself to get it right. So, allocate some time and be prepared for some action.
  • Don’t worry about what you are going to wear. Trust me, I have never interviewed a naked person – you will manage to wear something that is suitable. I say this now, because if you spend ages preparing your clothes, you may convince yourself that you are prepared when you are not.
  • Gather all the information you can together about the job (s) you are likely to be interviewed for. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer and, using the information gathered, compile a list of all the skills / personal qualities / experience / qualifications that you think they are looking for.
  • Prepare a couple of minutes of dialogue that includes: 1) Who you are (professional, not personal), 2) What you are offering and 3) Why you want the job. Once you have done this, you can now answer any question such as ‘Why do you want this job? Or ‘Can you tell us about yourself?’ This is just about the only question that I recommend you rehearse a response to because I know in doing so, you will sail through the first opening question and relax. You don’t want to learn too much off by heart because you will sound too rehearsed which won’t be effective for you. So here is how you overcome that:
  • Make your list of skills / qualities / experience come alive and work for you by digging deep and finding examples/evidence that you have these skills and qualities. Your aim is to have at least 1 ‘Story’ that you can use for each skill to demonstrate a time you have used this skill. For the story to be effective, it needs to include 1) What the situation was, 2) what you did and 3) what the outcome was.   If you can accumulate 10-15 stories for interview you will be prepared for most common types of interview including competency based interviews.  This is the part of preparation that takes time, but is really worth it.
  • Become comfortable reading through your CV out loud and elaborating on the information you have within your CV. In an interview, you need to expect to talk for 40 mins or more in order to get the job and you should be doing 80% of the talking. This, in conjunction with steps 4 and 5 will have you well prepared! At this stage, I Recommend you download my interview book and take a look at possible interview questions to see how you would respond:

If you would like 1-1 interview coaching, I provide telephone interview coaching (£60 for a 60 min session) to arrange a time, drop me an email:

Good luck!

Charlotte is our CV and Linkedin expert who shares with us via her blogs.  To receive all her blogs fresh from the press, register with us.




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