Interview Skills: A few basic tips from Inspiring Interns

Interview Skills

Have you got a job interview coming up?

Here a few basic things to think about as you prepare.

Looking for work? Why not take a look at the Inspiring Interns website for job and internship opportunities.

Top Tips for a Successful Job Interview


It’s no secret that job interviews can be quite nerve wracking.  The high pressure of the situation can end up getting the better of you. But there are certain things you can do to ensure the maximum possibility of success. Here are our top tips for a successful job interview.

Do your Research

While an interview is an opportunity for a company to ask you questions, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company. Asking any question which was answered on the person specification is a sure sign you haven’t prepared for the interview. Knowing about the company and job, and coming in prepared will help make it seem like you actually care about this job.

Use your Resources

Check around to see if anyone you know has worked with this company before. You could get the inside scoop on what they’re really looking for. This type of information can also be researched through sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Prepare and Practice

While an interview is always somewhat about the unknown, there are some questions which are quite likely to come up. By not preparing really good answers for these, you are allowing yourself more opportunity to fail. Having a short speech prepared about yourself, your qualifications, your skills and your experience will always serve you well in a job interview.

Come with Questions

At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask the interviewee is they have any questions. And not having one could be the difference between you, and the successful candidate. Again, if you know this question is likely to come up (and it is), it’s a silly idea to not prepare for it.

Be Personable

This isn’t just about being polite and friendly. It’s also really important to come across as a real person, rather than just a candidate. This will help you be more memorable, and stand out from the crowd. It’s also more likely an interviewer will take a shine to you if you make a personal connection with them.

Get Ready Early

Know what you’re going to wear and what transport you’re taking to the interview ahead of time. If you need a copy of your CV, make sure you have one printed and ready. Getting these things sorted out in advance will save a lot of potential stress and panic on the big day. It’ll also ensure you don’t turn up flustered, unprepared or late.

Dress for Success

The most important thing to remember when dressing for a job interview is that you need to look like you’ve made the effort. Clothes should be clean, in good condition, well-fitting and simple. Don’t dress up too much, but don’t look scruffy. If you’re really unsure (for example, if it’s a casual start up) you can email ahead and ask about the typical dress code.

Check your Body Language

Try to be open, and avoid sitting with crossed arms or too much of a frown. Also avoid over gesticulating, which can seem too dramatic and suggest you don’t really know what you’re talking about. It’s also key to avoid nervous signifiers, such as nail biting or playing with your hair. Try to keep fairly still, maintain eye contact, and make a conscious effort not to fidget.

Stay Calm

It’s easier said than done, but try your hardest not to get too anxious before or during an interview. Interviewers will be expecting some level of nerves, but keeping them under control is what’s key. So if you’re really struggling pause for a moment, take a deep breath, then continue the conversation.

Don’t be Negative

Criticising your current position or employers, even if it’s supposed to be complimentary to the job you’re applying for, is a huge interview mistake. It’ll look completely unprofessional, and leave the interviewer wondering whether you’re a trustworthy person. If you’re asked why you’re looking for a new job, just be diplomatic.

Follow Up

Post interview, it’s always a good idea to check back in. Even if you don’t get the job, you can always ask for interview feedback. This type of personal critique and advice is invaluable when it comes to future job applications.

Annie Walton Doyle writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs, visit our website.

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