Guide to a successful job interview

Many people get worried about the prospect of job interviews – especially if it’s been a considerable amount of time since you last had to undertake one. So it’s important to take away at least some of the tension by making sure you’re completely prepared. C&M Travel Recruitment share the things to plan in advance, so you’ll be free to concentrate solely on your answers and securing that new job.

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Plan your journey

  • Unless you’re an incredibly persuasive talker, you’re unlikely to get the job if you turn up an hour late for your interview, so it’s absolutely integral to plan your journey beforehand.
  • If you’re going by car, try driving past the location in advance so that you know the route, or if you really want to be prepared for any possible scenario, then seek out an alternative route there.
  • If you’re going by train or bus, then check the departure and arrival times in advance and keep an eye on any maintenance work on the lines or anything else that could cause a delay.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be able to walk to your job interview, ensure that you know exactly where the office is and that you can gain access to the building – you don’t want to be stuck outside while your potential new boss thinks you just haven’t turned up.
  • Aim to arrive around 15 minutes before your interview, so bear this in mind when planning your journey.


  • It’s not always easy to relax on the night before a job interview, and that’s why it’s important to give yourself the best chance of getting a good night’s sleep, so go to bed relatively early and set your alarm.
  • If you really can’t sleep though, just have a coffee or two in the morning (but no more) – after all, you’ve only got to be alert for the short duration of an interview.

Read the news

  • It may not seem like the most obvious part of preparation, but it’s always worth reading the news on the morning of a job interview – particularly at times like these when there so many developments happening on a daily basis.
  • Many employers like to see that potential recruits are aware of the goings on both in their industry and in the wider economy, so don’t be surprised if they throw in a question about what impact you think X will have on their business.

Dress smartly

  • If you’re unsure of the dress code then always dress smartly. Turning up in just trousers and a shirt can give the impression that your attention to detail might be lacking, so get your suit ready and ironed the night before.
  • There’s no need to buy anything new (unless your wardrobes consists entirely of band t-shirts or football tops), but try to wear something that will make you look smart but also feel comfortable.
  • Men should remember to shave, and women should refrain from wearing any strong fragrances or too much make-up and jewellery.
  • Smokers should attempt to resist the urge to light up immediately before the job interview.

Come prepared

  • It’s also a good idea to bring your CV with you – and a portfolio of your previous work as well if it may be appropriate.
  • The employer will almost certainly have your CV and application form to hand, but taking a copy with you shows that you have considered all possibilities.
  • The interviewer may not have asked to see any of your past work, but bringing along a few relevant examples is unlikely to hurt your chances.
  • Also, take along your notes so that you can do some final revision, as well as some cash in case you need to get a last-minute taxi.

Stay calm

  • A major part of the interview process is staying calm. While some people will find this more natural than others, you can help yourself by taking a deep breath after your first sentence. This will really help you to relax and give yourself time to adapt to the situation – especially if you’re asked to start your interview with a short presentation.
  • If you get nervous then there’s a good chance that your mouth will become dry, so bring a bottle of water with you – and don’t presume that you’ll be offered a drink when you arrive.
  • Another easy tip is simply to sit up straight. Not only will this make you look more professional, but it will also ensure that you’re voice better projects. Even if you’re a complete wreck on the inside, sitting up straight means that it’s less likely to show.

Be confident

  • Finally, if you’ve managed to secure a job interview then you must be doing something right, so take that confidence in with you.
  • Don’t worry about what the interviewer is thinking – if you go in with a clear idea of the points and image that you want to get across then you’ll have a far greater chance of being successful.
  • One of the best ways to do this is to rehearse what you’re going to say. If preparing your exact answers makes you feel more comfortable, then do that, but it’s probably best to just outline the points that you want to make in response to each possible question. This is likely to make you seem more open, honest and genuine

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