Being offered an interview for your dream job is possibly the most exciting moment of your job search – apart from being offered a job of course! Yet the feeling is quickly masked by the thought of the interview that is standing in the way.

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Although many will disagree, interviewing really isn’t as difficult or as terrifying as it sounds. You have to remember that the ball is in your court – they have reviewed your CV and they want to know more about you.

In this post, we aim to guide you through every step of the interviewing process; from the vital preparation, to the questions you should expect during the interview, to the follow up.

A Two-Way Street

An interview is a two-way street; an opportunity for two parties to come together and have a professional conservation – a ‘conversation with purpose’.

Not only is the interview an opportunity for the hiring company to find out if you’re right for the role, but it is also an opportunity for you to find out if the role is right for you.

The purpose of the interview is for you to sell your skills, experiences and achievements and to demonstrate that you are a perfect fit for not only the role, but the company. If you can do this successfully, then you can pretty much guarantee the job is yours.


Preparation is vital! It is important that you step into the interview having done your homework – the more you know the better.

Company Research

What do you need to know – the bare minimum?

  • What the company does i.e. what do they sell/what service do they provide? The best way to do this is to visit the company’s website and/or social media pages.
  • What does the role entail? All the information you need for this should be within the job description – so be sure to read it thoroughly to recap before the interview.

It is also a great idea to:

  • Find out as much about the company’s culture as you can i.e. what their main goals and objectives are, whether they are a large corporate company or a small casual company, where their head office is based, etc. Again, the majority of this information should be readily available online.
  • Read any information that the company has published i.e. their blog
  • Read up on recent goings on in the industry
  • Follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn etc. This will allow you to see all of their recent updates.

Interview Questions

It is almost impossible to predict the exact questions that will come up in the interview, however, you can prepare for the types of questions that may come up. Earlier this year Glassdoor sifted through thousands of interview reviews to find the 50 most commonly asked questions during job interviews. Here are a few examples;

  1. Why are you interested in working for this company?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  3. Why do you want to leave your current company?
  4. What can you offer us that someone else can not?
  5. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
  6. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  7. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  8. What is your dream job?
  9. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
  10. Discuss your educational background.

For the full list, click here.

As well as preparing yourself for interview questions such as these, you should also;

  • Think about how your skills, experiences and achievements relate to these questions.
  • Think about how the role relates to these questions.

If you can do this, as well as confidently discuss any part of your CV, then you’ve put yourself if a great position.

Your Questions

Don’t forget to think of some questions you would like to ask the interviewer. If there are any aspects of the role you would like to know more about, ask. If there are aspects of the business you would like to know about, ask. Other great questions to ask could include;

  • What will a typical working day look like?
  • When can I expect to hear back after the interview?
There are also some questions you should steer well clear of. Check out Forbes’ 10 Questions You Should Never Ask In A Job Interview.

It seems to be standard interview procedure to ask any questions that you may have at the end of the interview; however, I feel it is best to ask questions throughout, it shows a great level of interaction and interest.

The Interview

It is important to remember that the interview is a two-way street and not an interrogation, so remain calm and be confident in your abilities.  

  • Plan your route the night before and make sure you know where you are going. You don’t want to risk getting lost and being late.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Take a copy of your CV, a pad of paper and a pen just in case you need to make notes.
  • Arrive early, 15 minutes ideally. This will give you time to relax before the interview and review your preparation.
  • When the interviewer arrives, be confident, introduce yourself and go in for a firm hand shake.
  • Before the interview begins, engage in a little small talk. It will help to calm any nerves.
  • Eye contact is vital.
  • It is important to be personable, engaging and elaborate on all your answers.
  • Make sure you answer the question that you are asked – stay on point.   
  • Be sure to listen and do not interrupt the interviewer. Wait until they have finished before you respond.
  • Be enthusiastic – if you’re excited about the role, show it.
  • Be honest. Lying is possibly one of the worst things you can do in an interview. One lie leads to another and in the end the truth will always come out.
  • Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and let them know that you plan to follow up.

The Follow Up

The follow up can sometimes be just as important as the interview itself. If the interviewer is stuck between you and another candidate, chances are, the candidate that follows up will be the one that lands the job.

  • When you get home from the interview, it is a great idea to drop over a thank you note. It’ll get them thinking about your interview again.
  • At the end of your interview be sure to ask when you can expect to hear back from the company; when this date passes, follow up with a call.

Being offered an interview for your dream role should be an exciting experience and the feeling shouldn’t be masked by the thought of an interview. Ensure you are fully prepared, leave a lasting impression during the interview and follow up – you can’t go far wrong! 

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