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Nail Your Interviews - A 10 Step Guide

Posted by: Sharifa Bakhtani | Sep 20, 2023

If you've ever felt those pre-interview nerves or wondered how to make a memorable impact, you're in the right place. Interviews can be stressful, but they're also fantastic opportunities to show off your skills and personality. In this blog, we're diving into 10 practical tips to boost your interview performance…

1. Be on Time

Punctuality may seem like it goes without saying, but you’d be surprised. Arriving on time shows respect for the interviewers' and the company's schedule, setting a positive tone right from the start. It also gives you a few minutes to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and shake off any last-minute nerves which we all need!

Set your alarms, double-check the route, and aim to arrive a bit early if possible. With all these strikes you’re better off leaving earlier anyway. Being on time not only demonstrates professionalism but also gives you a head start on your journey to interview success.

If it’s a Zoom interview, make sure you’ve already checked that your device is working and log on 5/10 minutes beforehand to avoid technical difficulties. 

2. Research 

Research the company. It's not just about showing up; it's about showing up prepared. Not only should you familiarise yourself with the company’s mission, values and background through its website, but keep an eye out for some of the keywords and phrases they use so you can incorporate them into your interview ;) Don’t stop there though, go onto their social media and learn a bit more about their culture or side projects they work on, for example, if you had an interview with Apply4U and you looked through our socials you’d see that we are working on A Helpful Foundation Project in which we’re building a community centre in Pakistan. Mentioning these initiatives during the interview would show your enthusiasm and without a doubt make you stand out. 

3. Be Ready to Explain Your CV

Don’t think just because the employer has already seen your CV, they won’t ask you anything about it. An interview is your chance to explain any gaps in your CV, or if you’ve changed career paths - why? The interviewer might ask you why you left certain roles and you should be prepared to give reasons. Don’t use this time to name and shame your previous managers - it’s not a good look! Instead, emphasise your motivation to look for new challenges and excel in your future role. Be prepared to talk about your CV and being prepared in general is always guaranteed to make you a more compelling candidate. 

4. Study Job Description 

Before you walk into the interview, the job description should be your best friend. Take time during your preparation for your interview to understand it and align your previous experience and qualifications with the specific responsibilities and requirements outlined in the job description. 

This not only answers the question of how your skills match the role but also allows you to ask insightful questions about the position. If someone came into my interview and I could tell they studied the job description, my website AND socials, I’d hire them on the spot!

5. STAR Method

When it comes to behavioural interview questions, the STAR method is one to remember. 

Situation: Begin by setting the stage and describing the situation or context such as when you were faced with a challenging project deadline.  

Task: Then outline the task at hand by explaining the objective or goal you had to achieve such as completing the project by the deadline and up to standard

Action: Detail the steps you followed including any decisions that had to be made or skills you used to overcome obstacles such as time management or problem solving. 

Result: Highlight the positive outcomes or achievement and how you’ve learnt from it. 

Using the STAR method will help you structure your responses making sure you answer the questions effectively whilst also showcasing your abilities. 

6. Positive energy 

Don't forget to let your smile shine! Express your enthusiasm for the role and the company, emphasising why you're excited about the opportunity. Confidence is key, so believe in yourself and your abilities. By cultivating and showcasing positive energy, you not only create a pleasant interview atmosphere but also make a lasting, positive impression that can truly set you apart from other candidates.

7. Small talk

When you’re asked how you are or how your journey to the interview was, resist the urge to respond with “good”. Do you know how boring that is? Instead, share a short story or anecdote about yourself or what you saw that morning on your way in. Maybe you woke up tired but the weather really got you going and you’re surprised the weather is actually decent in London. Not only does adding a bit more to your answer make it more relatable and memorable to the interviewer, but it also shortens the amount of time they have to ask you harder questions so it's a win-win! 

8. Body Language 

I can’t believe I made it to point 8 without mentioning body language. Paying attention to your body language is vital - it’s 60% of your communication. Make sure you maintain a good posture to convey confidence, make eye contact to demonstrate attentiveness and use hand gestures when emphasising key points but remember to not fidget as it can make you look nervous. It’s almost a catch-22 with making sure you portray good body language but not too much to the point it distracts the interviewer so if you want some help or pointers with this, we’ve got you! 

Once you’re registered with us: give us a call on 0330 175 8370 and ask us about mock interviews and interview prep!

9. Question back 

Although it’s an interview, make sure it’s not one-sided. At the end of the interview they might ask you if you have any questions - use this to portray your interest in the company. Don’t ask them things like who their paper supplier is but rather things about the company culture or their expectations for your role. Not only will this show that you’re interested in the role, but it also helps you gather information to determine whether the company is the perfect fit for you. 

10. Practice Questions

There’s no better way to make sure you don’t fumble and go quiet during an interview than practising questions. Click here to see some of the most common interview questions you might get asked and how to answer them. 

Make sure you don’t memorise the answers - for each question come up with a few topics or keywords you want to use and come up with an answer that could be applicable if the questions changed a little bit. This way if the interviewer asks you a question that means the same thing but worded differently, you won’t be confused. 

Wishing you the best of luck in your interview and like mentioned earlier register with us at: and call us to get all the help you can get for interviews from interview tips to mock interviews with live feedback.  

Good luck!

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