Congratulations! You’ve been shortlisted for the job you recently applied for, and now the next step towards securing the role is to attend an interview. It’s only natural to feel a little nervous, so here are some top tips that will hopefully help you to seal the deal…

Do your research
Find out as much as you can about the role you have applied for and the company you could be working for as a whole. Re-read the job advert and person specification you responded to. This way, when you’re asked about why you’d be the ideal candidate for the job, you can draw on what those documents say.

Get plenty of sleep the night before
Turning up looking tired and yawning all the way through your interview will not give your potential new employer the best impression of you and your work ethic. Try to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a decent night’s sleep. Don’t stay up late watching the latest drama or that film you’ve seen hundreds of times before – you can always record it and watch it another night. Also, don’t forget to set your alarm, as the last thing you want is to oversleep!

Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready for an interview – and be there on time!
When the day of your interview arrives, preparation is the key to your day running smoothly. If you need to bring certain documents or examples of previous work with you, make sure these are ready and easy to find well in advance. At some stage before the day of your interview, make sure you know exactly where you need to go for your interview and plan how you are going to get there. Figure out how long it will take you to get to where you need to be, and allow a bit of extra time in case of traffic.

Dress appropriately
Formal clothes are recommended for an interview, and in most cases a suit is the best option. Make sure your clothes fit well, as clothes that are too tight or too loose will not be comfortable. You should also make sure your outfit is clean and ironed, and that your shoes are polished. Have a bath or shower and wash your hair and shave, if required. Avoid overpowering perfume and aftershave and try to keep any jewellery and makeup to a minimum. If you are unemployed and on Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may be able to get help with the cost of buying formal clothes for an interview.This support depends on your circumstances, so speak to an advisor at your job centre to find out more.

Hand Shake

Try to appear calm, even if you feel nervous
When you meet the person or people who are interviewing you, smile, make eye contact and shake their hand. Show a genuine interest in the interviewer or interviewers by smiling and looking at them while you answer their question. Whatever question you are asked in the interview, take a moment to think it over before responding. Talk more slowly than you think you need to, as people tend to rush when they get nervous.

Ask questions
Once your interviewer has asked you lots of questions, it’s quite common for you to be asked if you have any questions for them. Although nerves could make you draw a blank, you should always try to ask at least one question, as it helps to show you are enthusiastic about the possibility of working for a company. Some examples of a good question would be ‘What’s the best thing about working at your company?’ or ‘What training opportunities do you offer?’ It’s not a good idea to ask about pay or benefits, as this can make it seem like you are more interested in what the employer can do for you, rather than the things you can do for them.

Keep things in perspective
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get this particular job. There will be other opportunities. If you are not successful, remember it’s quite an achievement to have been asked for interview in the first place. Keep applying for vacancies that interest you and the perfect opportunity will soon come along.