It is really important to prepare for an interview whatever role you're applying for. Being more prepared means you're more likely to ace it and get the job you want. We're offering some advice for students on how to succeed in job interviews. 

Whether you're applying for an apprenticeship or your next part-time job, we're confident these tips will come in handy. 

Planning is everything.

A good start is to consider the possible questions you may get asked, ahead of the interview. This will make you ready and more spontaneous in your answers. It is important to research your potential employer and the job role as this will really assist you in an interview. Being furnished with good relevant facts will enable you to tailor your responses to questions and highlight how keen you are. A good ‘surf’ around the company corporate website is a great place to start.

Prepare for that almost inevitable question, “why does this job interest you?” – many applicants will be similar in qualifications and experience and so often the deciding factor can be the applicant who showed the most interest in the role.

Be on time!

Punctuality is a major concern for employers so always try to arrive at least fifteen minutes before the arranged interview. Finding a parking space, a nervous need for the bathroom and not having good directions are all things that can delay your arrival and getting there late is as good as saying goodbye to the chance of getting the job.

Look the part.

First impressions really count. You cannot underestimate the impact of the first impression. The way you dress and portray yourself can really highlight how serious you are about the job role. This is even more important in a customer facing role – and don’t forget that includes polished shoes, cleaned teeth and your hair cut too!

Don’t wear excessive perfume/aftershave or makeup. You are not off on a night out, so always remain professional. Let the interviewer be distracted by your qualifications, experience and enthusiasm and NOT your perfume, zany hair and lipstick colour!

Turn the phone off.

Switch off your mobile phone or at the very least turn it to silent. More importantly, resist the urge to check it particularly in the view of the employer/interviewer. Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about productivity due to mobile phone use and social media so don’t give them the wrong impression even if you are just checking if your Mum has called to ask how the interview went!

Interview Etiquette.

There are three main things to remember as you first greet the interviewer; eye contact, a nice sincere (albeit nervous) smile and a firm but not crushing handshake. Make sure you make a mental note of their name and unless advised otherwise, always refer to them as Mr or Mrs….

Remain Positive.

Exude energy and enthusiasm. Understandably, most employers want upbeat positive employees without ‘attitude’. Smiling is a really powerful tool. Yes, it is understandable you will be nervous but smile and you will come across as friendly, relaxed and approachable.

Have Questions Prepared.

Prepare for the dreaded “so, do you have any questions?” part of the interview. Saying nothing at this point can make it seem like you are not interested, so always have a few questions to hand. We've put together some interview questions worth asking to help you prepare.

End on a high.

And finally, always end the interview on a positive note. It can be something as simple as saying “I really look forward to hearing from you”. Make sure you thank them for their time too. You can also impress by sending a follow-up email thanking them again for taking the time to interview them. This starts a line of communication, and if you're rejected for the job you can always request feedback to help you improve.