“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 

Benjamin Franklin

Never has the old adage been more appropriate than when thinking about interviewing. Many things about the interview process have changed or evolved in response to the global pandemic, including the inclusion and often used virtual interview. However, the importance of preparation remains a vital step. 

Whilst the interview is an opportunity to learn more about the role and your potential new employer, it is important to make a strong first impression.

Take a look at our helpful tips on how you can prepare for an interview and ensure that you stand out from the other applicants.

Understand The Job

Read through the job specification again and ensure you thoroughly understand any qualifications, qualities and background the employer is looking for. This will help you determine your previous experience and exactly what you wish to demonstrate in the interview.

Make notes on key points or where you have any questions about the role or company. 


Look at their company website, key personnel, social media platforms and note down any relevant information to have with you for the interview. Find out about:

  • Vision / Mission / Values / Purpose 
  • Key selling points and differentiators 
  • Key specialism and area of expertise
  • Service offerings
  • Geographical coverage 
  • Key milestones achieved 
  • Key messaging on social media / current campaigns

Your CV 

To help you prepare for an interview, it’s good practice to read through your CV. Do this prior to the interview and make sure you are aware of the information you have included. The interviewer will likely ask you to talk them through your CV. Decide which areas you wish to focus on and which parts can be skimmed over if less relevant to the role.


Come to the interview with some well prepared questions that demonstrate your interest and intent for the company and role. An employer will often ask if you have any questions, so make sure you have a list of about 3-5 questions (possibly more depending on the situation).


Face to Face: Plan your journey beforehand and leave plenty of time to get there early. If you are unable to demonstrate good timekeeping, you will be on the back foot for the rest of the interview. It is better to arrive early, be able to grab a coffee and mentally prepare yourself for the interview ahead.    

Depending on your mode of transport, there are some great journey planner and travel apps to assist your preparation.

Telephone: Make sure you are somewhere quiet with good phone reception. Set up a space where you can focus and have a surface where you can keep any documents to hand or write notes. Make sure any other devices are on silent/do not disturb and make sure you pick up the first call.   

Video: Test your camera and microphone set up before your meeting. Do a couple of test runs with the specific software being used to become familiar with the software. Often you can open the interview link early to test your camera and mic. Make sure you are in a quiet location with strong wifi signal and good lighting so you can be clearly seen. Make sure your background is suitable and you are well presented. Click the link in good time to make sure you do not miss the meeting. 

First Impression 

First impressions are key in all walks of life, especially interviews. Ask the employer or recruiter (if you’re speaking with one) what the dress code is so you can dress appropriately. If it is face to face, be early for the meeting and enter with a firm handshake whilst maintaining eye contact throughout the interview. Non-verbal communication can be just as important as anything you say, so use confident, accessible body language. Smile frequently, maintain a good posture and stay relaxed.

If the meeting is virtual, even though you may not be able to be seen, your posture dictates a lot about how your voice is perceived. Make sure if seated, you are comfortable, and sitting upright (not slumped).

Consider your answers

Though it’s hard to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked, you can prepare for your interview by considering how you will answer. Ensure you respond truthfully, tying your answers back to any key skills and accomplishments. Keep your answers short and focused on the question you’ve been asked, to avoid rambling and going off topic.

As much as possible, avoid speaking negatively about your current or former employers/colleagues. Your new employer will be looking for a positive approach and ability to overcome challenges. Even if you’re feeling discouraged, try to explore the good things, what you’ve learned and what you’ve gained from your experience.


The final part of the interview is a great opportunity for you to close the client/sell yourself so don’t be afraid to ask how they felt the interview went. Did they have any reservations? What are the next stages? These will give you clarity and further opportunity to shut down any of their reservations.

Advance TRS

For more helpful interview tips, and job search advice check out our other Advance Advice articles.

We have a variety of opportunities available on our job boards and a team of talented consultants to speak to on 01483 361 061.

With the global pandemic, times have changed and so has the working world. With many of us working remotely we have become very familiar with Zoom, and not just because of the weekly family quiz nights. 

Businesses have had to adapt certain processes to ensure their employees’ health and safety, and one of those processes is the way interviews are conducted. 

Many companies have opted to hold job interviews via video call, which is a great way to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to, however, can bring different challenges for the interviewee. We’ve got some pieces of advice for you if you have a video interview coming up.

Dress for the job you want

Even though your potential new employer might only be able to see your top half, make sure to dress smart head to toe, rather than wearing a blazer and tracksuit bottoms. This will help put you in the right frame of mind, too. 

No matter what job you’re applying for, it is always worth dressing smart, rather than looking too casual. 

Do your research

Whether the interview is held in person or via video call, you should always be well prepared. Make sure to look up the business, find out as much about it as you can and also look up your interviewers. That way you can find out how long they have been with the company for and ask them about what they like about working there.

If you don’t know who is interviewing you, you can ask your recruiter or the person you have been in touch with to confirm the names. 

Switch off notifications

Whatever device you use for the video interview, make sure to switch off any notifications during the call. Having a constant beep of notifications coming up can be distracting for you and the interviewers.

Make use of your screen

You can write some notes about the company and the job on Post-Its and place them around your screen. It can also be useful to have some bullet points on answers to difficult questions you might be asked. We previously published a blog about commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them. You can read the article here. 

Disrupted signal

We’ve all experienced this – occasionally signal might drop and your screen freezes for a short period. If that happens during your interview stay calm, apologise and carry on with the interview.

Find a quiet space

While it is best to find a space without any disruptions for the duration of the interview, that might not always be possible. In case you have children or pets at home who can occasionally be heard in the background, apologise, briefly explain the situation to the interviewers and carry on.

Ask questions

Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview to show you are genuinely interested in the business and the role. Again, you can write these on notes and stick them to your screen.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS are growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Jess Wells, our Talent Acquisition Manager.