Succeeding at your job interview

Now that you have secured an interview, you need to create a favourable impression at your meeting if you are to win the job. You have no way of knowing how many other candidates you are competing against, and you must convince your potential employer that you are the best person for the job in a relatively short meeting.

Preparing for an Interview

Being judged or assessed makes many people nervous and can provoke a stress response. When people are placed in stressful situations the first thing to be affected is memory, and your thought processes may also become slower than usual. To give yourself confidence and avoid interview stress you need to prepare in the days or weeks before your interview. Leaving things to the last minute will not fill you with confidence!

During the interview

Trained interviewers are aware you may be nervous during your interview, and may try to settle you with rapport building questions and humour. Other interviewers may wish to see how you cope with stress, and go directly into the questioning process.

Interview hints and tips


  • Make sure your CV (link to CV writing page) is well presented and that it accurately reflects your skills and experience, so that you can answer questions fully and clearly.
  • Learn all you can about the company and the role you are applying for well in advance of the interview
  • Be confident in your interview and maintain good eye contact throughout your discussion.
  • If possible, in the days before your interview get friends or family to help you practice your responses to ‘typical questions’ such as Why do you want this job? Why do you feel you are the best person for this role?

If you are confident at interview it will be apparent in both your verbal and non verbal communications. Thorough advance preparation as outlined in this section and ‘Writing a CV’ will help you to improve your confidence at interview and reduce your risks of fumbling a question.