How to prepare for a job interview

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Congratulations on securing an interview. You’re one step closer to getting that job!

If you’re feeling nervous, you’re not alone. Most people don’t enjoy interviews. Below you’ll find some practical advice for preparing for an interview, but let’s start with how you think about this meeting with an employer.

Here’s the thing most people forget: an interview is a two-way street.

Sure, the interviewer is seeking to find the best person to join their team. But as the job seeker, you are also interviewing them. For you, it’s a chance to find out as much as you can about the job so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you. When it comes to job interviews, preparation is key. 

Here are 10 tips to help you prepare:

Know your CV

Make sure you know every detail on your cv so you’re prepared to answer questions about any employment experience, training and job responsibilities.

Think about questions

Spend some time thinking about some possible interview questions and prepare answers for them.

Go armed with examples

If you have previous experience in a similar job, think about some examples of things you’ve done previously which might be good to share during the interview.

Be confident!

If you have received recognition or positive feedback about something you did or achieved in a previous job, talk about it.

A job interview isn’t the time to be humble - it’s absolutely okay to ‘sell’ yourself and what you can do.

Do your research

Find out as much as you can about the person interviewing you and the business or organisation.

This will not only improve your confidence on the day, you’ll impress the interviewer with your preparation and knowledge and it will give you some great background to use when asking questions.

Dress for success

What we wear has an impact on how we feel.

While first impressions count and you need to be dressed appropriately, you also need to feel comfortable.

Putting on your interview clothes is part of the process of preparation and will hopefully get you into a positive, aspirational mindset.

Consider the dress code

What to wear for your interview will depend on the dress code and working environment, but as a general rule, dress ‘up’ a little beyond what you can imagine wearing to the job.

Make sure the clothes you decide to wear are clean and ready (i.e. no missing buttons or stains).

If you’re going shopping for something new, don’t leave it until the last minute - you’ll only add to the pre-interview stress!

Think about the little details

Beyond your interview outfit, consider the little things that make up your overall appearance.

Are your hair and nails clean and tidy?

Are your shoes clean/polished?

Go easy on the perfume/aftershave (while it might make you feel dressed ‘up’, you want the interviewer to remember what you said, not how you smelled).

Plan your travel

Do your research and find out the best way to travel to your interview and how long it will take to get there.

Allow plenty of time for traffic, parking and delayed public transport.

Consider doing a trial run the day before so you can feel calm and confident on the day.

The night before

Be kind to yourself and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.


Ready to find your next job?

We have assisted thousands of kiwis to gain new skills and secure work. You might be recently out of work, needing confidence building and interview practice, have a health or disability challenge, or maybe you are switching fields and need support accessing funding for licenses or short courses.

We will work with you on a personalised plan to help you prepare for, find and maintain work.

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