Preparing for a successful job interview

If you want to make the best impression on a potential employer in a job interview, you need to start preparing a few days in advance.

Just turning up at a job interview and ‘winging it’ may work on rare occasions. But if you really want to secure a brilliant flexible work opportunity you’ll need to put a little work in before the big day to ensure that you demonstrate genuine interest in the company and position, and the experience and skills to excel in the job.

Tips to help you prepare for a successful job interview

  • Research the company – look at their website or get hold of some of their marketing materials, and try to work some of this information into your answers or your questions during the interview.
  • Read up on any current issues that may be relevant. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, look at marketing magazines and news websites for any big stories the week leading up to your interview.
  • Practise your interview technique. Ask a friend or your partner to role-play an interview situation with you using some prepared questions and a few surprise ones, and ask them if there are any areas they think you need to work on.
  • Examine the job description and try to think about what questions an employer might ask about the skills and experience needed. Make a note of anything from your background that may be useful.
  • Most interviewers will ask you about your strengths and weaknesses, so prepare a list, with an example illustrating each one taken from your previous jobs. Think about what benefits or experience you may bring to the position as a working mum.
  • Write a list of five reasons why you think you’re right for this job and would excel in it, and five reasons why the company would benefit from employing you.
  • Decide a couple of days in advance what you want to wear, giving you plenty of time to dry clean, wash and iron anything that needs it, and clean your shoes the day before.
  • If you’re feeling nervous, take a book or magazine to read while you’re waiting. Distracting yourself with something easy to read can take your mind off your interview and help calm your nerves.