A Guide To Help You Prepare For Your First Interview

A Guide To Help You Prepare For Your First Interview


Preparing for a job interview can be daunting, especially if it’s your first interview! This guide will help you find the best preparation approach for your needs and make walking into that meeting room feel like a breeze.

Read on to see our tips below…


Which type of interview you’ll be attending

In order to prepare effectively for an interview, an excellent place to start is finding out which type of interview you have been invited to. There are different types of interviews; face-to-face, telephone, and video calls.

  • Face-to-face - this is the most traditional and most common form of interview. You'll attend the employer's office and be questioned on your suitability for the job by an individual or panel.
  • Telephone - phone interviews are often used by employers early in the application process to filter large numbers of applicants. If you're successful you'll typically be invited to a face-to-face interview or assessment centre.
  • Video - video interviews can be live or pre-recorded, and tend to last around half an hour. These have increasingly been used due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the majority of things move online.


Research, research, research!

How you best showcase your skills and suitability for the job role in an interview depends on how well you research beforehand. It’s important this isn’t left until the last minute as proper research can take some time. In the days leading up to the interview, focus your research on the:

  • Employer - you need to show that you understand the business beyond the basics. What sector does it operate in? What challenges does it face? Who are its competitors? What are its culture and values?
  • Role - read the job description or if you completed an application form, go over it to refresh your memory of how your skills and qualifications match the job. It's vital that you can explain why you want the job, why you’re the best fit and that you understand the role perfectly.
  • Questions - consider how you'll answer common interview questions, as well as prepare some questions you'd like to ask the interviewer.


Practice makes perfect

It's a good idea to do at least one mock interview before the real thing. This will help you to practice your interview technique and see how you deal with unpredictable questions. You can also write and practice answers to common interview questions with someone you trust - possibly even recording yourself and then reviewing your performance.


On the day of the interview

Some things you should consider taking to your interview;

  • pen and notebook
  • your CV and interview invitation
  • your academic certificates and work examples if requested
  • photo ID
  • laptop/computer

What you'll be expected to wear depends on factors such as the size of the company, the industry it operates in and the culture it promotes. For example, a small creative agency may have different standards than a major accountancy firm.


After the interview

As your job interview comes to an end, make sure you find out when you'll be informed of the outcome - and thank the interviewer for giving you the chance to attend. If you haven’t heard anything, be sure to follow up with your recruiter or hiring manager. In addition, if you are unsuccessful ask your recruiter why - what could you improve upon next time?