6 tips to help you prepare for your next interview

Outside practice

1. Plan for the interview

Find out what the interview will involve to make sure you're prepared. You should think about who will be interviewing you. Find out how many people will be interviewing you and their positions in the practice/company. This will help you prepare for the kinds of questions they may ask. Finding out how long the interview is likely to last will give you an idea of how detailed it will be.

2. Plan your journey

Consider travelling to the company the day before the interview to check how long the journey will take. If necessary, ask the employer for directions, bus routes or details of where you can park your car. You should plan another way of getting there in case something unexpected happens (such as an accident blocking the road, or if your train is cancelled). If you have a disability, let the employer know so they can make any special arrangements.

3. Create the right image

Deciding what to wear for the interview will depend on what sort of work you will be doing. Decide what to wear and get your clothes ready the day before. You don't have to buy a new outfit. Aim for a neat, clean and tidy appearance; if you look good it will help you feel good.

Gather together the information you'll need at the interview. Remember to take a copy of your CV or application form to refer to, and prepare notes or cue cards to help if you think you might need a prompt during the interview. Take items the employer has asked you to bring along, for example, references, certificates or your driving licence.

Re-read the job advertisement to refresh your memory and to make sure you haven't missed anything. Prepare for the questions you might be asked.

4. Before you leave

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready, and make sure you've got all the relevant paperwork with you. If you are delayed, contact the employer as soon as possible to explain, apologise and arrange another appointment.

5. When you arrive

You should aim to arrive about 10 minutes before the interview time. When you arrive give your name to the receptionist or who-ever is there to greet you. Try to relax and keep calm. Chat to the receptionist or whoever greets you before going into the interview; this will help calm you. Remember that the interviewer can be just as nervous as you.

6. During the interview

Accept that it is natural to be nervous and that you may have a fast heartbeat, clammy hands and ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. These are your body's natural way of meeting a challenge, and in small doses it can help you.

You will make an impression in the first few minutes. It takes this time for people to assess you and store this information. Once you have made a first impression, it's hardly ever changed. It's important to make a good first impression.

If you are nervous, your voice may sound shaky and squeaky. Practise deep, slow breathing before you get to the interview. This will slow down your heart rate and help you avoid taking quick, shallow breaths.

This article is taken from advice given on the Government's website, where more information is available

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