Looking for a new job? The basics of interviewing...

Looking for a new job? The basics of interviewing...

So, you’ve landed yourself an interview – nice work, you’re half way there! If you're a fresh graduate or someone who's been in the job market for a while, looking for a new opportunity can be hard. And interviews make it all that little bit more daunting.

You may be familiar with the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Preparation is key to nailing that interview, winging it will just result in awkward silences and nobody wants that. We’ve prepared a lot of candidates in our time for interviews, here’s a few tips we picked up along the way:


Arrive late – it will reflect badly, despite how good your excuse is. First impressions count! Map out your route to the company the day before and give yourself enough time to get there. We’ve heard all kinds of ‘late excuses’ as recruiters! And if you're interview is taking place remotely, get prepped in front of your screen at least 10-15 minutes prior to fix any tech issues that may occur.

Have your phone on loud – put that device on silent or flight mode before you enter the building! Even a vibrating noise can be off-putting in an interview.

Dress inappropriately – turning up in jeans and trainers isn’t considered as typical interview wear. Even if you know that the company have a relaxed dress code, ensure you wear a business suit unless told otherwise.

Be negative – even if your previous employer was the devil himself, do not be negative. Do not discuss office politics or ‘they said this, they said that’ stories to explain why you’re leaving your current job. And don’t be caught out by the ‘What are your weaknesses’ questionsm this is your opportunity to turn it into a positive.

Lie – You may be able to get away with over-exaggerating the truth about how you went above and beyond, but transparency is key to a successful relationship with work. Some of the biggest we have seen in the recruitment industry are where people get caught out about criminal convictions, being released from a job or particular skill sets that they don’t actually possess.

Be cocky – there can sometimes be a fine line for some people between being confident and being arrogant. If you’re feeling confident during interview, that’s fantastic, but it’s normal to get nervous, especially if you really want that job. 


Your Research – you don’t have to remember every detail on the companies ‘About Us’ page but just revising a few simple facts such as when they were first established, company size, and what they are actually about will win you a few points.

Keep eye contact – it’s a great way to show the interviewer that you’re listening to them. 

Listen – if you’re listening then you won’t miss any questions meaning less awkwardness for everyone. However if you do suffer with hearing difficulties then ensure to notify your interviewer beforehand.

Sit up straight – slouching in your chair is not cool, and nor is sitting with your legs spread. Maintaining a good posture and using your hands every now and then when you speak makes for perfect interview body language.

Ask questions – this will express your interest in the job and the company. But keep them relevant and refrain from asking your interviewer what football team they support. – unless they ask you of course!

Aside from the above interview tips, there is also a lot more to consider prior to your interview, such as the format. Will it be competency-based interview questions? Will there be a role play or group interview? Is there more than one person or a board of interviewers? Do you need to prepare for a psychometric test or computer exam?

To find out more about Sanderson and how we can help you find your next job visit our website, or start a conversation with us on LinkedIn.