Many of the tips below are obvious but are often overlooked. Preparing yourself for an interview is essential if you are to make a positive impact. Formal test conditions have proven that it is the first and last 90 seconds of your interview that prospective employers will make up their mind about you. First impressions count!


  1. Aim to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and plan your route/journey carefully. If you do arrive late, try to call in advance and apologize for the delay.
  2. Dress smartly (body piercings are not recommended) – clean your shoes - check your breath – no overpowering perfume - don’t smoke even if offered.
  3. Be prepared – think of sample questions that might be asked (i.e. tell me about yourself – what can you contribute to our company – what are your strongest skills – what are your long term career goals – what are your weaknesses?)
  4. Research the company before you go into the interview – be aware of any latest developments – study the company’s website and any literature supplied.
  5. Proof-read your CV and take an extra copy to the interview along with any written references.
  6. Speak in a natural tone. If you are meeting somebody who has a different nationality to yourself, try to avoid using ‘local jargon’ which may have no meaning to them. If you are having a telephone interview, speak slowly and clearly.
  7. Don’t talk negatively about your former employer or colleagues.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, in fact it helps to prepare a checklist of points you wish to cover. Take a pen and notebook with you.
  9. Avoid controversial comments or outlandish displays (one candidate ended their interview by doing an Elvis Presley impression!)
  10. Be courteous to everyone in the office because you never know who is evaluating you.
  11. Remember to switch off your mobile phone!
  12. Be positive and show that you are capable of doing the job by using brief examples that demonstrate your abilities and knowledge. Where appropriate, take examples of work you have done.
  13. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the role being offered.
  14. Contact your Madison Parker consultant afterwards to provide feedback and discuss next moves.

Remember – you only get one chance to make a positive first impression!