Interview tips

Dress for the interview, not for the job

There are very few occasions when it is NOT appropriate to be smartly dressed for an interview.

  • No trainers
  • No jeans
  • No tight fitting or revealing clothes
  • No baseball caps or other head covering unless for religious or cultural reasons
  • No low hanging trousers (wear a belt)
  • No headphones (either in ears or hanging around the neck.)
  • Clean and ironed clothing.

If you do not have business clothes ask your JCP or ETE advisor if they can help

We all judge people by their appearance whether we mean to or not, so dress to impress.

Turn off your mobile phone

There is no reason to have your mobile phone out. Turn it off before you enter the building and don’t take it out until you have left the interview.

Be punctual

Being late will probably cost you a job offer. It doesn’t matter how good or genuine the reason.

Plan your journey

  • Leave with plenty of time – no harm in being early
  • Do a dummy run
  • Use the TFL journey planner to check your journey

Never raise a doubt in the mind of the employer

Clear the decks before an interview. Don’t tell the employer you have a dentist appointment next month or that you do not have a bank account or no fixed address. Sort this all out beforehand.

Remember, all employers are vain

All employers want to hear good things about their company or organisation. Go on the internet and do your research. At the same time, never bad mouth a previous employer to a potential one. They will not be impressed.

Answer questions

By thinking about the specific role you are applying for, and by researching the company, you can anticipate most interview questions. Try and answer them with examples:

  • If you are asked if you can work outdoors in all-weather give an example of that. Don’t just say yes. (This can be from work or from an outside interest.)
  • If you are asked if you are able to use IT programmes, mention the programmes you have used and documents you have produced.
  • Try not to start sentences with ‘obviously’ or ‘basically’. Don’t address the interviewer as if he or she is one of your friends.

Ask questions

Whether it is a one to one or group exercise, think in advance of sensible questions to ask. These should be about the business or promotion and training opportunities. Employers often make up their mind during presentations based on these things.

Never ask a question of personal gain.

Good Luck!