Interviews can be intimidating, but they lead to new career opportunities. With the right preparation and mindset, you can transform the interview challenge into a platform to showcase your strengths. 

This is where interview coaching is your ally, as it can equip you with the tools and strategies you need to approach your next interview with confidence. With an average of 30 people being interviewed per role, it’s important to do what you can to set yourself up for success.

This quick guide aims to navigate you through the interview process, from initial preparation to the final follow-up, ensuring you’re well-prepared to land your dream job.

Your 8-step guide to interview success

1. Understand the organisation’s interview process

Every interview takes you one step closer to your career goal. Familiarising yourself with the various stages of the interview process, from screening calls to final interviews, is crucial. 

Understanding the format and what each stage entails at each organisation you interview at can significantly reduce anxiety, allowing you to prepare more effectively.

2. Pre-interview preparation

When you’re well-informed, you’re naturally going to be more confident. Make sure you do in-depth research into the company’s mission, vision and values. The company website, LinkedIn and industry news are valuable resources. This knowledge helps you tailor your responses and demonstrates your interest in the role and the organisation.

Interview coaching comes in really handy during the interview preparation stage. A good coach will help you identify and articulate your unique value proposition. It’s important to take the time to think about the experiences you’ve had in your career, the skills you’ve learned and the achievements you’ve earned, and how they could all contribute to succeeding at the job you’re interviewing for.

The final stage of pre-interview prep is a lot of practice. Mock interviews, another cornerstone of interview coaching, simulate the interview environment, allowing you to refine your answers, work on your body language and receive constructive feedback.

3. Build your narrative

Your experiences are not just bullet points on your resume; they are stories showcasing your skills and achievements. You could try using the STAR method to structure your responses, highlighting the Situation, Task, Action and Result. This approach helps convey your contributions and impact effectively (and it’s a great method to help you write your CV, too).

4. Master interview etiquette

Remember these three tips when it comes to mastering interview etiquette:

  • Make a good first impression: The old saying “first impressions count” holds true in interviews. Dress appropriately, don’t be late and give your interviewers a warm, confident smile when you meet them. These details, though small, set the tone for the interview.
  • Hone your communication skills: Clarity and confidence in communication are key. Speak clearly, maintain a moderate pace, and be mindful of your tone. Active listening is also important, as it shows respect for your interviewers and allows for more engaged conversations.
  • Be aware of your body language: Non-verbal cues can speak volumes – one theory suggests that interview success is down to 55% body language, 38% intonation and just 7% verbal communication. Make eye contact, don’t slouch and use gestures naturally. These subtle signals can significantly bolster the impression of confidence and composure.

5. Navigate common interview questions successfully

“Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” These staples of the interview world are opportunities to shine – and you can practise answering these common types of questions well in advance of your interview.

Interview coaching can also help you create responses that highlight your suitability for the role, weaving in both your research and self-assessment insights.

6. Learn how to handle difficult questions

Unexpected questions can unsettle the best of us. The key is to stay calm and composed. Remember, it’s not just about the answer but how you handle the situation. It’s ok to ask an interviewer for a minute or two to gather your thoughts before you respond.

7. Ask insightful questions

Questions are a two-way street. Asking about the role, team dynamics, or company goals shows your interest and engagement. Insightful questions leave a positive impression – read our article ‘Top 5 Questions To Ask An Interviewer’ for inspiration.

8. Don’t forget the follow-up

A courteous thank you email post-interview shows gratitude and demonstrates your professionalism. It’s also a good opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role and summarise why you’re the ideal candidate.

Interview coaching with City CV

Interviews aren’t just a set of questions and answers – they’re a platform to present your best self. Structured interview coaching offers a tailored approach to navigate this process with confidence. 

As you approach your next interview, remember that preparation and practice are your top tools. With the support of interview coaching, you’re not just ready for your next interview; you’re ready to embark on the next exciting chapter of your professional journey.

Contact our experts to find out more about career coaching and interview preparation support.