Career Advice

Essential tips for job interview preparation

In-house career expert Chelsey Murray shares essential job interview preparation tips: focus on details, research thoroughly, practice questions, and build confidence for success.

Focus on the details

When preparing for a job interview, it’s easy to overlook the small details that can make a significant difference. Factors like the distance to the interview location, your outfit, the interviewers, and ensuring your Teams profile is up-to-date can impact the outcome. As Tom Igbeleyi says, "The most prepared person gets the role, not the smartest."

Key steps for thorough preparation

Research the company and industry:

Understand the company and its industry thoroughly. Visit their website, read recent news articles, and review industry reports. Familiarise yourself with their mission, values, products, and competitors. This knowledge shows genuine interest and helps tailor your responses to align with the company's needs and culture. More importantly, it’ll show you whether or not this a company you’d feel happy to work for.

Analyse the job description:

Examine the job description and required skills closely. For each requirement, identify specific instances from your experience that demonstrate these skills. This preparation allows you to provide quantifiable and relevant examples during the interview.

Curating your elevator pitch

A common interview opener is, "Tell me about yourself." To handle this effectively:

Start with your professional background: Briefly summarise your career history, focusing on relevant roles and achievements.

Highlight key achievements: Mention specific accomplishments that showcase your skills and expertise. This is your opportunity to show off anything you’re particularly proud of.

If changing careers: Explain your transition and highlight any certifications or training that support your new career path.

Conclude with your strengths and value: Emphasise your strengths and the unique value you can bring to the company.

Practicing different types of questions

Interview questions typically fall into several categories. Practice each type to prepare effectively:

Competency/behavioural questions:

These questions assess how you've handled past situations. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers, ensuring a comprehensive response.

Technical questions:

If your role involves technical skills, be prepared to explain complex technical concepts. Practice articulating these to someone without a technical background to ensure clarity.


Interviewers might use brainteasers to test your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Practicing similar questions can help you stay calm and think clearly during the interview.

The importance of asking questions

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, always say yes. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance, such as:

•    What does a typical day look like for someone in this role?
•    Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
•    How does the company measure success in this position?
•    What are the next steps in the interview process?
•    What advice would you offer to the successful candidate?
•    What are your favourite parts about working for the company?

These questions demonstrate your interest and help you determine if the company is the right fit for you. You can tailor these to the specific role/industry you’ve applied to work in.

Building confidence

Confidence is crucial during an interview. Adopt pre-interview routines to help you relax and boost your confidence; ensure you’re well-rested before the interview day; practice positive visualization by imagining a successful interview where you confidently answer questions and connect well with the interviewers.

A word of advice: you wouldn’t have been invited to an interview if the hiring manager wasn’t interested in your skills; the interviewer is on your side, and they want you to succeed. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to breathe and gather your thoughts before answering a question – you’re only human after all! 


While intelligence and qualifications are important, the most prepared candidate often secures the job. Attention to small details, thorough research, practicing various types of questions, and building confidence are essential steps in the interview process. Remember, success is in the details.

When you embark on a journey with Learning People, our Career Services team will offer you thorough, comprehensive guidance from applying for roles to acing the interview process. Get in touch today to find out how we can accelerate your career progression.


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