Home 5 Work & study 5 What research and preparation should I do before an interview?

What research and preparation should I do before an interview?

Eva Hardy
Eva Hardy
Have an interview for a job, apprenticeship or other course? Read this article to help you prepare.
A whiteboard with some sticky notes on it. The sticky notes have company values on them, for example "diversity" and "vision".

Research before you even apply!

Before even applying for a job or course, you should consider whether the role is suitable as well as if you agree with company values. Research the job role, find similar jobs and compare, take a look at the skills required, do they match with your strengths and would it be something you would enjoy doing on a daily basis?

All company’s have values that help set guiding principles and beliefs that employees work as a team to complete a common business goal.

You could start by researching what the company values are to see if you’re a good fit for the company you are applying for.  Some examples of company values include:


  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Integrity

Interview Preparation

Research the company and write down some facts that you could bring up in your interview to show that you know the company and what it supports. This shows the interviewer that you have taken time to prepare for the interview and that you are committed to the job role and company.

Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview. This shows you have thought in detail about the role and the organisation and you are serious about the role. If you are struggling to think of questions, take a look at the Prospects website which could give you some ideas.

Make sure you are set up for your interview. If your interview is virtual, on something like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, check you have technology that supports this (you could set up a link as a practice run!). Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in and that you are in a calm and quiet environment. Check your background to ensure it looks professional or add a blurred background. It’s also a good idea to have a back up device to hand, like a mobile phone if for whatever reason you are struggling with your tech on the day.

Prepare to get to an interview. If your interview is face to face, you should plan your route in advance, look on Google Maps to see how long it will take you, or use Transport for Greater Manchester’s Journey Planner if you need to take public transport. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, you don’t want to be worried that you aren’t going to get to your interview on time. When you get there, you will probably be asked to give a name, so make sure you know the name of the person you are meeting!

Make sure you dress appropriately. Even if you are on a virtual interview, it is important that you are dressed smartly but also feel comfortable and confident. Check out the Indeed website for a guide to help you choose an outfit for your interview.

A stack of books all with different coloured spines.

Top Tips

  • It’s ok to be nervous at an interview, try some calming breathing techniques and remember it’s ok for you to stop and take a break if you need one.
  • The interview starts as soon as you enter the office or interview space, so think of things like eye contact, smiling with anyone you interact with in the space, and maintain good posture
  • Wasn’t successful? That’s ok! Any interview experience is good experience and a lot of the time you will gain some valuable feedback on what you could do in future interviews.


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