Prepare to Get Hired: The Ultimate Job Interview Preparation Guide

Written by Gary Hughes

Congratulations on being invited to interview! This means the recruiter feels you are potentially the person they are looking for, and you now have the opportunity to confirm their opinion.

While you can’t fully control how the interview will go, preparing thoroughly in advance will give you a significant advantage and ensure you are confident and ready for the big day. Here are some tips to help you prepare and give yourself the best chance of success at your interview.

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Research thoroughly

Knowing about the organisation and sector and how you are a perfect fit for the role is a sure way to impress. You can prepare these things in advance, and here’s what to research.

The company

What is its history, values, vision, and mission statement?

What are their product and services, where are they positioned in the market, and who are their competitors?

What are their current initiatives and future plans, and what are the latest news stories?

Your interviewers and the leadership team

Who are the interviewers, what are their roles, backgrounds, and priorities, and what are they passionate about?

Who are the leadership team and the key people in the organisation? What are they talking about and interested in?

The job description

Look at the role in detail to understand all the responsibilities and skills. What relationships are likely to be important? How will success be measured?

Identify where your successful experiences align with these requirements and prepare how you will communicate this.

Your CV

You won’t have a copy of this to refer to at the interview, so make sure you know every detail.

Be prepared to discuss every aspect of your career history, achievements, skills, and responsibilities, why you moved from each role, how you’ve developed and progressed your career, and how your experiences perfectly match what they’re looking for.  

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Plan your logistics for the day

While being well prepared is a great way to boost your confidence, it can also throw you off and undo your good work if things don’t go as planned. Preparing the logistical details ahead of time is a small amount of work, but it can help you stay calm and collected when it matters. 


If it’s practical, it’s never a bad idea to visit the interview location in advance, but at the very least, make sure you know exactly where you are going, the address, the department and who you check in with.

If you’re driving, check whether parking is available and if specific arrangements are needed to gain access.


Have your travel route planned and even practised. Consider potential traffic or public transport delays and allow for any walking time.  

It is wise to arrive around 15 minutes early. This will give you time to gather your thoughts after your journey and demonstrate to the interviewer that you are prepared and organised.

Have your interview outfit planned and ready

Your appearance is essential, and you also want to be comfortable. The interview dress code is traditionally ‘business smart’, which is still an excellent rule to follow. However, today, the workplace is less formal, and matching the organisation’s dress code is usually acceptable. Whatever you wear, ensure it is washed, ready, and comfortable.

Have everything ready that you need to take

If you have been asked to take your CV, certificates, or other documentation, ensure this is printed and ready beforehand.

If you are required to deliver a presentation, ensure your laptop is charged and ready. The presentation file should also be easily accessible, and you should have a backup on a USB memory stick.

Virtual interviews

It is just as important to prepare in the same way for a virtual interview as you would for an in-person interview, with the different factors being location, travel, and technology.

In a virtual interview, you control your location, so be sure it is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions for you and those interviewing you. You should also arrive early like you would if it were in person. It is also imperative to check your technology; have you got the correct invite link? Are your sound and video working? Do you know how to use all of the software functions you will need?   

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Anticipate the Questions you might be asked

You should expect to be asked questions that allow the interviewer to assess your fit to the requirements of the role and the organisation. You will usually find these are a mixture of:

Questions reflecting the job description and requirements of the role

These usually form the basis for many interview questions, so it is good to research the job description thoroughly and rehearse answers to demonstrate your skills and experience.

Questions about you and your career experiences

These will require you to expand on the information in your CV, so be prepared to discuss this in more detail. This is a chance to make clear how your achievements make you a perfect fit for the role.

Common interview questions

Most interviews will include some more familiar interview questions. These can consist of questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and behavioural questions about how you handled a particular situation.

Your preparation for the interview should include preparing and practising answers to these questions. An excellent way to respond is to use the STAR method.

Prepare the questions you want to ask

Usually, you will be asked if you have any questions towards the end of the interview. You can prepare your insightful questions in advance, so be ready with between 2 and 5 good questions. Having no questions to ask is never a good idea, and it is advisable not to be the first one to bring up salary.

Thoughtful questions that show your interest can be about the role, opportunities for development, company values and culture, and challenges they face.

Final words

Feeling prepared and positive in an interview can make a huge difference and is well worth the work. Covering the areas we’ve outlined before the big day can give you a significant advantage over other candidates.