Preparing for your interview

One of the most important things when going for an interview is to be prepared. Think about:

  • Why you want the job
  • Why you want to work for the particular organisation
  • Why they should employ you.

LSE Careers has a wide range of resources and services available that you can use to help prepare for your interview.

1. Research, research research!

  • Find out as much as you can about the employer.
  • Visit their website.
  • Read their annual report.
  • Companies often have a mission statement or key principles- try and find out what these are and why they are important.
  • Keep an eye on the news or trade press to see if there are any stories that are relevant to the organisation or industry. What impact would the event have on the organisation or industry? What is your opinion on the event?
  • What are the organisation’s long term strategies?
  • Who are their competition?
  • Make the most of our Vault  subscription to help you with your research- they offer up-to-date company profiles as well as in depth sector guides.
  • Visit our employment sector pages to find out more information about the industry.

2. Know yourself

  • Know your CV, application form and covering letter inside out.
  • Think about it from an interviewer's point of view- what areas may be unclear? What are your main strengths and weaknesses? Is there anything that you have not included that they should know?
  • Use our self-assessment page as a guide

3. Know the job

  • Ensure you know perfectly the job description and what it entails.
  • Re-read the person specification (the skills, qualifications, experiences and personal qualities needed for the role) and think about examples from your personal experience that demonstrate you have the skills and qualities necessary.
  • Check out the role within the organisation. Does the role differ in other organisations?
  • Talk to someone doing a similar job or working for the organisation. 

4. Know the details

  • Check the time, date and location of the interview.
  • Make sure you know how to get there and how long it will take.
  • Know who you are being interviewed by and have their contact details in case anything goes wrong.
  • Take proof of your interview with you (i.e. confirmation email).

Interview nerves and how to deal with them

A job interview can make the most confident of us feel anxious and nervous- but it doesn't have to be that way! Some simple techniques, good preparation and positive thinking will help you shine.

Relaxation techniques

By using some of these simple relaxation techniques you can help ensure you come across as relaxed and confident in your interview.

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before.
  • On the day, get some fresh air, take a walk and if possible arrive a little early to give you time to collect your thoughts.
  • If you get to choose your interview time, try opting for a morning interview so you don’t need to dwell on it all day.

Confidence

A strong handshake, smile and eye contact can easily create an impression of self-confidence. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts- you MIGHT get the job, rather than WON’T get the job.

Put your worries into perspective

As much as it may not seem like it, there are other jobs out there! Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself- if you have the determination and the capabilities, other opportunities will come along. You would not be invited to the interview if you were lacking in potential. If you are unsuccessful, don’t take it personally, and instead use it as valuable experience and the ideal chance to learn and improve for next time.

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