How to get ready for an interview

Advice about how to prepare for an interview.

How to prepare for an interview

Research the company

Your interviewer will expect you to know what their organisation does, who their customers are, the size of the organization, what their values are and who their main competitors are.

If you've researched this information, you’ll be able to have a meaningful conversation with the employer about the company. Doing this research demonstrates to the employer that you really want the job.

You can find this information on the company’s website. There will usually be an ‘about us’, ‘our story’ or ‘our history’ section that will tell you all you need to know.

If the organisation is open to customers, go and visit to find out what products they offer and how they deliver good customer service.

Research the job role

You need to understand the job description of the role you've applied for. Look through all the information you have been sent to make sure you fully understand the expectations of the job.

This will help you prepare answers for any questions relating to the role and show examples of how you're the right person for the job.

Plan your journey to the interview

It might seem obvious, but you don't want to get lost, or be late to your interview. Make sure you know where your interview is and do a practice journey to check how long it will take to get there.

Make sure you have a contact phone number for the organisation with you so you can contact them if necessary.

Plan what to wear

Think about the culture of the organisation you are applying for to help you decide what to wear. If it’s a place which is open to the public, visit and see what staff are wearing. If not, take a look at the website and see if you can get a feel for the dress code there. If in doubt, it’s always better to wear smart clothes. 

Interview questions

Think carefully about the main points you want to portray about yourself before an interview. Each question you are asked will be another opportunity to give key information about yourself to the employer.

You can’t predict exactly what questions the employer will ask, but if you prepare these points in advance you can include them in your answers. This will help you show the employer that you're right for the position.

Prepare your own questions

You'll usually be asked if you have any questions at the end of an interview, so have a some prepared. Avoid asking about benefits like pay or holiday. Concentrate on showing your interest in the role and a career with the company by asking about training and progression opportunities.

More advice

For more advice on how to prepare for interviews visit the National Careers Service website.

You can get interview advice, and book a practice interview session with support staff at the Youth Employment Hub.