How to Succeed in an Interview

Posted 18/06/2019 : By: Caitlin Moll

You’ve sent your CV to us and we’ve sent it on to one of our clients who has a position we think you’d be perfect for you. The good news is that they’d like to see you for an interview, you’ve got past the first hurdle! The slightly more daunting news is that you’ve now got to impress your potential future employer with your skills, experience and professionalism!

Interviews can be intimidating, it’s a foreign environment with new people to meet but there’s no doubt that you need to make an impact! Nerves are normal and preparation is key, so to make things a little bit easier we’ve put together an in-depth list of helpful tips on how to succeed in an interview!

Be Prepared

Before the interview even begins there’s plenty you can do to make sure you’re ready, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared! Here are a few things which will help you feel more at ease in the interview:

  • Research the company – Spend a little time looking into the business, how it works and its core values. This will not only help you answer your questions and tailor them to the employer, it will show that you’re genuinely interested in working for them and that you care about how they work.
  • Prepare some questions – There’s usually a part towards the end of an interview where you will be asked if you have any questions, prepare a few which will help you engage with the interviewer. They can be about the job role, the company - anything! Having questions prepared will help you leave a lasting impression and get to know the interviewer better. After all, the chances are you’ll be working with them if you get the job!
  • Organise your important information – Take a copy of your CV with you, the employer will likely already have one but it shows good initiative to take your own. It can also help you to refer back to it when being asked about your experience. Take any relevant certificates or examples of your work and put them in a folder along with your CV so it’s organised and easy to remember when you’re heading out the door!

Dress to Impress

What you choose to wear can vary depending on the job you’re applying for, but our motto is ‘business is best’! Smart business-wear is advised, even if the company you’re applying for dresses more casually. Your interviewer will appreciate that you’ve made an effort and taken the time to think about how you want to come across. Show your potential new employer that you’re a professional and you’re ready for business – that means no jeans, no t-shirts and definitely no trainers!

Plan Your Route

Avoid unnecessary stress (and traffic) by planning your route to the interview in advance. There’s nothing worse than getting lost and being late, and some interviewers won’t see you if you arrive later than the agreed time. We would advise doing a trial run if you can, punctuality is very important as it shows you’ll be able to arrive on time for work every day.

Make a Good First Impression

You only get once chance to make a good first impression. Most people make a judgement about someone in the first 4 seconds, with their mind completely made up after approximately 30 seconds. So, that’s less than a minute to show someone you’re right for the job; it’s not a long time so make it count! Some simple and easy ways to make a good first impression are:

  • Arrive on time.
  • Look sharp and dress professionally.
  • Offer a firm handshake – but don’t break their hand!
  • Be friendly and polite to everyone you meet, you never know what influence they may have!
  • Speak clearly and make eye contact.
  • Smile, facial expressions and body language are important!
  • Accept the offer of a drink – small talk like this helps you build a relationship, just like when you pop round to a friends for a cup of tea! Having a sip of a drink is also a good opportunity to think about how you’re going to answer the next question!

Re-read the Job Description

The job description is an important tool in preparation for the interview, ensure you’ve read it more than once paying special attention to the skills the employer is looking for. Think about what you can bring to the table which reflects the job description and prepare examples which relate to these skills. If it helps you, add notes to the job description and take it with you in the interview.

Practice your Answers

It’s true that you won’t be able to predict exactly what questions you will be asked, but you may be able to make an educated guess for some. Practise your answers to some commonly asked interview questions out loud, hearing yourself say them (or rehearsing in front of someone) can help you keep your responses clear and concise.

Control your Nerves

This tip is much easier said than done! Nerves can creep up on you when you least expect them, but there are ways to try and keep them under control.

Preparation is definitely a factor which can help with nerves. If you’re well prepared, know where you’re going, what to expect and have thought carefully about how you want to represent yourself then there’s less room for anxiety.

Remember to take deep breaths, nerves are only there because you care, it’s natural! Try and channel the nerves into energy and not to let them take over. Any good employer will expect you to be at least a bit nervous so try not to worry!

Be Authentic

Our final tip is perhaps the most important. It may sound cheesy, but be yourself! You’ve been invited for an interview because you look like the one for the job on paper, show that you’re just as good in real life.

Be yourself and most importantly be honest about your skills and experience. The truth always makes itself known so if you’re experienced in one area and not so experienced in another, make that known in a positive way. Remember that the interviewer wants you to succeed just as much as you do, be sure to give an authentic representation of who you are!


Looking for a position in the Motor Trade?

We’re experts in Automotive Recruitment! With vacancies available across the whole of the UK, we’re bound to have something suitable for you. For more information give us a call on 01603 717187 or send us an email to info@progressrecruitment.co.uk. Alternatively, you can sign up with your CV to our website here.

  • How to Succeed in an Interview