How to prepare for interview

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is an adage perfectly suited to your preparations for interviewing. If you go in without preparation, your responses will quickly be revealed and won’t form the positive opinion desired.

Here’s seven top tips from MRK Associates for preparing for all interviews (and at all stages):

Digital. Start your preparations early by going onto your favourite browser and researching the company’s values, services and positioning on their website. Make notes too that you can refer to. Also, visit their social feeds and read their comms. Look at responses and start to follow them.

Is there an annual report you can read to understand their financial perspective?

There are many forums online – what is being said about the firm you are going to meet? Try to separate vindictive comments from constructive delivery.

Through your LinkedIn account, take time to look up key members of the team at the business and review their experiences, time spent and successes.

Finally, put some keywords into Google and understand who else is in the interviewing business’ space. Check out the competition too.

News. Visiting Google’s news service will reveal lots about the interviewing organisation; what news, if any, has been released? It’s also worth setting up some Google Alerts with your company’s name as the key term. When news is published, it will come straight to your inbox.

Also, check relevant trade journals – hard copy and online – to see how the business is portrayed and use this information in your interview (if relevant).

CV. Review your CV and brush up on your experiences and where you want your career to go. It’s also worth reading the job description so you can understand expectations.

Practice. Have you any friendly professionals who could spare the time to “mock” interview you, so you can robustly, yet politely, answer all questions. Remember this is an interview you are going to, not a garden party. The questions are designed to test you, so you need to be prepared.

Directions. Do you know where the interview is taking place? Do you need to “dry run” your route? Are you relying on public transport? Either way, plan your journey and be EARLY!

Ready? What’s the dress code at the firm? You can take inspiration from the industry the organisation is working in, e.g. in finance, you are more likely to have to wear shirt and tie/dress below the knee, whereas in creative industries, the requirement is going to be a little less formal.

If the interview has been arranged through a recruiter like MRK Associates, get a debrief from your contact and understand the personalities at the top of the business, the hiring manager and your manager (if not the same thing).

Good luck!

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email:

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