Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Preparing for an interview: my five top tips for success

Heading Underline

Posted: 19th May 2016  |  Share this Article:

Interviews can be nerve wrecking, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Ensure you are well prepared by using my top 5 interview preparation tips.

  1. Research. I cannot convey how important this element is. Research, research and more research. Please conduct your research properly and not just a cursory glance at the company website.  A deep dive exercise for potentially your next career move is the least you can do. Most of the information you will need will be on the companies website, talking to current employees is also very insightful.  Ensure you read about the products or services they provide, how many employees does the organisation have? are they a global organisation or UK based? if global what other countries are they based in, what department are you interviewing for? what is their specialism? when was the business founded and by whom? There is so much information widely available it would be useful to concentrate on a few key areas.
  2. Prepare for the questions.  Most interviewers will ask you one or more of the standard interview questions.  These questions should not take you by surprise therefore prepare your answers beforehand and come across confident, prepared and focussed.  Some of the questions which are usually asked are; what are your strengths and weaknesses? where do you see yourself in 5 years time? what motivates you? why should we offer you this job?
    We should be able to answer these questions in our sleep – hopefully your interviewer will be more original and ask you more searching and interesting questions.
  3. Your appearance. Yes, this is a no-brainer but have you considered that a suit is not necessarily the correct attire for every job interview. Some organisations are very relaxed when it comes to what is acceptable to wear in the office, but you will already know this from your research!!  What is required is that you should be well presented and look professional. First impressions count, rightly or wrongly – and if you make the wrong first impression it could cost you that dream job!
  4. Smile. Interviews can be nerve wrecking but studies suggest that smiling has a positive effect on your mood, decreases stress levels and anxiety by releasing endorphins and makes you and others around you feel more relaxed. So start practising!
  5. Ask questions. This is the best part of the interview, this is your chance to interview the interviewer and gain clarity on anything that was unclear. You should be well informed about the general aspects of the role you are interviewing for from the job specification.  Commonly asked questions are why has the position has become available? what are the main attributes they are looking for in the successful candidate? you could also ask them to describe their on-boarding processes and how they support continued development? You should also ask about the company culture and management styles.

I hope the above is helpful and good luck with your interviews!


Vivien Edwards is Managing Director, Cornerstone42 an Executive Assistant recruitment and executive search consultants.  We match talented executive assistants with organisations that compliment their skills, capabilities, personality and aspirations. A high performing team starts with your EA. Contact us today to find out how we can support clients and candidates with the best fit and the right match.
Follow us on twitter @cornerstone42_ and Facebook


Share this Article

Vivien Edwards

Written by

Vivien Edwards

Cornerstone42 founder

Vivien has nearly 20 years administrative experience covering project and event management, recruitment, training and development, mentorship and supervisory for other admins.

Recent Posts

The PA Career Planning Process

Ok. So you have made the decision to leave your current role for pastures new. Congratulations! There are several reasons why you should develop a career plan either you have left your current role, want to leave or have just decided to take charge…

5 Interview Tips to Secure that Job

Congratulations you have secured that interview. Now the hard work really begins. Here are my top 5 interview tips based on my own experience as a client as well as a job seeker. Prior to the interview The purpose of a job interview is…

Job descriptions - make them honest

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs & SMEs Should Hire a Virtual Assistant

In order to be successful as a startup or small, medium enterprise your business needs to have structure.

Sign Up

Heading Underline

Join the Cornerstone42 mailing list for latest vacancies, tips and advice.

Job Alerts

Heading Underline
Receive job updates for:

Register for our free job alerts emails to be the first to hear when relevant new vacancies are added to our site.

Job Alerts