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Top tips for interview success

Man in wheelchair interviewing lady

A work coach from Jobcentre Plus gives their top interview tips.

A job interview can be a daunting experience whether on the phone or online. Someone once told me they would rather go to the dentist! No matter how confident you are nerves can get the better of anyone once they’re in a interview scenario.

To give yourself the best possible chance make sure you’re as well prepared as you can be. Try saying your answers out loud to a friend or family member, or even in front of a mirror. You may feel silly, but it can really help you get over your nerves.

It can also help you become more aware of your body language which interviewers will pay close attention to if you’re doing an online video interview, or the tone of your voice in a phone interview. Imagine going for a job in social care, which is sociable in nature, and coming across as being timid or withdrawn.

Remember, an interview is a two way street. You should feel free to ask the recruiter questions if there’s something about the role or organisation that you want to know. If you don’t understand a question you’ve been asked, there’s nothing wrong with asking your interviewer to repeat or rephrase it.

Pause for a beat to think about your answer rather than launching straight into it. When you’ve got lots of things you want to say, it can be tempting to rush the words out before you forget anything, but it can end up sounding garbled. Take a breath, slow down and make each point clearly.

Even if you’re not offered the job, interview experience is rarely wasted, especially if you ask for feedback. You might find there are just a few small things you can work on to land that job next time. 

If you want further help with interviews, LifeSkills, created with Barclays, has a module covering the purpose of job interviews and the process of preparing for one. Visit the LifeSkills website (external website) to find out more.

The National Careers Service has produced a step-by-step guide to the interview process