Do you have an interview coming up that you're nervous for? Well, forget that feeling. You're just not prepared. Believe me, I've been there too, plenty of times. However, I learnt a few tips and techniques that helped me a lot. And now, I'm happy enough to share them with all of you.

One - Prepare.

A few things you need to make sure you have prepared before you even think about turning up are an up to date CV and Cover Letter. These two things are a must. Most employers won't even invite you to an interview unless these two things are printed off without spelling mistakes, and UP TO DATE. Also, take a printed copy of your References to hand to the employer at your interviewer. Have at least two references.

Another important essential you will need is your ID. I recommend having at least three forms of ID. One must be either a full Birth Certificate or a Passport. Another being proof of your address, a printed Bank Statement or a Utility Bill. The third can be another proof of address, just as a backup.

Remember to do Research, not only is this helpful to understand what the company do but there is also a high chance that the question "What do you know about the company?" will come up. Find out the company's values, you can discuss how you relate to their values. Find out what they do for the community. Find out the history. And, find out who the company's competition is!

Two - Answering Questions.

There are three types of questions that you will be asked in your interview, they are;

Competency Based - These questions will usually start with "Tell me about a time when..."

With these questions, you want to use the STAR Technique. (I will get more into that later.)

Situational Judgement - These questions are to test how you handle situations or how you would handle them, they are most likely to have something to do with the job role you are going for. "What would you do if..."

Generic - These types of questions are like the 'Getting to know you' questions. "What would say are your top 5 strengths/weaknesses?"

TIP - When speaking about your weaknesses remember to talk about what you are doing to turn them into strengths. For example, if your weaknesses are public speaking then put yourself in situations when you have to do it. Help yourself improve every day.

STAR Technique.

S - Situation

10% of your time answering a question should be used to describe the situation, for example, where were you? When did it happen?

T - Task

Another 10% of your time should be talking about what needed to be done, what was the challenge?

A - Action

Action should be talked about for 60% of the answer, talk about what you did and how you got it done.

R - Result

The final 20% should be the result of your actions, what went well? Or what didn't and what you learnt from it?

Test your STAR Technique.

Take your time to answer these next few questions to help you practice, also, there is a huge chance that you'll get asked these questions in your interview.

1. Tell me about a time when you have achieved something that you are proud of.

2. Tell me about a time when you have had to use your own initiative.

3. Tell me about a time when you have handled a difficult situation.

4. Tell me about a time when you have worked as part of a team.


Three - Selling yourself.

Every interviewer wants to get to know you, they want to know if you are exactly what they are looking for. This means they will most definitely ask you to talk about yourself. I admit not everyone likes to do this, myself for example.

Don't worry about this, you don't have to go into your whole life like what pet you had when you were 5 years old. Just talk about your hobbies and interested. Maybe even mention your education, like college or uni. Talk about any charity work or volunteering you are doing or done in the past.

Four - But what do I wear?

Smart. Always turn up to an interview looking smart. Don't turn up looking like you've just got out of bed, or that you're ready for a night out with your friends.

Prepare your clothes the night before your interview and make sure you have a backup outfit.

Five - In the Interview

Be around 30 minutes early, ask someone at the reception where the bathrooms are and ask if you're able to use them. Use this time to calm yourself down and wash your hands with cold water.

Make eye contact, be confident, enjoy it.

Remember to ask questions at the end, for example: What is the team who I'd be working with like? and, What would the day-to-day responsibilities be?

Also, tell the employer that you enjoyed talking with them and you appreciate the time they have taken to speak with you! 

Here are a few do and don't;

Don't be late,

Don't chew gum in the interview, make sure you have disposed of it before entering the building,

Don't go in smelling of smoke, but also don't go in with an overpowering fragrance on.

Do shake the interviewer's hand

Do take in notes with you

Do remember that body language speaks louder than words


I really hope this has helped you with future interviews, please let me know! 

Published by Beth Gleghorn