Top Tips: Job Interview preparation  

26th February 2020
Hailey O'Riordan


The ultimate guide on how to prepare for an interview — ensuring that you’ll walk in confident and able to give thoughtful, compelling answers to your interviewer’s questions…. Whilst remaining calm, confident and professional!

  1. Before your interview

Firstly, do your research, ensure that you have spent time reading about the company, their clients and the products/services they provide, Here, your main focus is not just to find out about the company but also how they see themselves and how they are different from their competition. Take into consideration the organisations values and if they represent your own values, as this will play a key part if you are successful. Here at MacKenzie King we believe that our core values support the vision, shape the culture of our company and employees.

  1. Consider your answers to common interview questions

Think about your complete answer to each question and practice saying those answers out loud….. You might feel ridiculous doing that, but there’s something about this process that lodges those answers in your brain. Reflect on previous personal and professional experiences that you can relate to questions; this will allow you to show off your personality and demonstrate good communication skills too.

Example Questions to consider:

    • What are your strengths?
    • What are your weaknesses?
    • Why are you interested in working for us?
    • Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  1. Dress for success

Prepare your interview outfit: shine your shoes and plan grooming things, maybe a haircut etc.

Dressing well can increase your confidence as well as boosting your professional image. Ensure you have a dress rehearsal too… Don’t wait until the morning of your interview to make sure your clothes fit and match.

  1. Stay positive throughout

A positive conversation is key to a successful job interview. Employers don’t want to hear a litany of excuses or bad feelings about a negative experience, even when legitimate.

If you are asked about a sudden job change, or a weakness in your background, don’t be defensive. Focus instead on the facts (briefly) to emphasize what you learned from the experience. A positive spin can be applied to most situations.

Don’t be afraid to pause and think throughout your interview. You don’t need to fire back an answer in the first millisecond — and sometimes it’s good to acknowledge that you’ll need a few moments for consideration. In general, people speak too quickly in interviews because they’re nervous, so slow down if you feel yourself racing.

  1. Think of the questions you’d like to ask

During your research there will most likely have been details that you’d like to know more about. Write them out as clear questions for the interviewer. This will help you avoid an awkward silence when you’re asked if you have any questions.

Example Questions to consider:

    • What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
    • Can you describe a typical day or week in the position?
    • How will the success of the person in this position be measured?
  1. The day before

Re-familiarise yourself with the questions and answers you’ve prepared but don’t stress about trying to remember every single detail. A decent grasp of the main points will stop you ‘script-reading’ your answers, but if it helps, create a list of key skills, qualities and experience from your CV that you want to cover. But remember a natural flow is always a good thing.

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep – You’ll undermine your preparations if you’re yawning through the interview. Feeling refreshed and alert will also help you cope with any unforeseen situations that might get the nerves buzzing; like questions you maybe hadn’t thought of.

  1. After the interview

Be sure to get the contact information of your interviewer at the end of the interview and follow up with a brief message expressing your interest and your gratitude for the interview opportunity in the following days. When working with a reliable recruitment agency they will assist you with this process, ensuring you the best possible experience from start to finish, for more information regarding finding the right recruitment agency for you, head on over to one of our previous blogs – How to choose the right recruitment agency for you.

The thing to remember it almost impossible to over prepare for an interview.

Good Luck!