If you’re stressing about your interview then you can help your nerves AND get interview-ready by preparing. It may involve a bit of extra effort but it really can make the difference between getting the job and not…

Here are our tips on making sure you get the small details right to make a big impact.

Print off your job application

And – just in case – print extras for the interviewer(s). You should take a copy of your application form, cover letter and CV as well as the original job ad so you can read over everything when travelling to the interview. Read and re-read it to make sure you’re confident. If possible, put them in a neat folder as this makes you look super-organised!

Research the company

Before your interview make sure you have looked at the company’s website. They may ask you what you know about the business and it helps to have an answer prepared. It’s impressive if you can show you’ve taken the time to learn more.

Plan your journey

Whatever you do, do NOT arrive at your job interview late. It is possibly the worst start to a job interview and can immediately make the interviewer take a dislike to you. In fact, almost half of recruiters won’t give a candidate a job if they are more than 10 minutes late for interview – regardless of how well they perform.

Key to this is planning your journey well in advance, especially if it’s in an area you’re not familiar with. It may seem obvious, but if you need to get the train, where is the nearest station? If you can, print a map off or make sure your smart phone is fully charged with Google Maps enabled. Work out how long it will take you to get there and – if you have time – do a practice run a few days before. You should aim to arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of your interview, NOT 10 minutes after!

Practice your interview questions

Make sure you are confident answering typical interview questions. You can practice alone or with a friend (bribe them with a cup of tea!) and be ready for unexpected interview questions as they may throw you off balance.

Look the part

Dress to impress! You should walk in feeling confident and looking smart, but remember to dress comfortably as well. You don’t want to be in discomfort, it may throw you off your answers.

Eating/drinking/smoking

It goes without saying that you should NOT drink alcohol before a job interview, even if you just fancy a pint for Dutch courage. They may smell it on you and it can affect your judgement. If you need to eat before the interview then avoid ketchup down the shirt and try to steer clear of smelly food. Finally, if you are a smoker the smell of smoke can linger on your clothes and create a bad impression. If you can, save it until after the interview. Thanks Nicorette!

Mobile phones

Surveys show that having a mobile phone ring during an interview – or, worse, answering a mobile phone during an interview – is a common reason for employers to say a big fat NO to candidates. It’s common sense but you’d be surprised how many people forget. Avoid that AWKWARD moment by turning off your phone.