Careers In Design
Call us on 01920 486125
Specialists in the Recruitment of Interior,
Product and Furniture Designers

Careers In Design

Design Recruitment Blog

The Importance of Interview Preparation

Posted on 14 May, 2024

The current employment market is a changing and frequently intimidating place to be. With so many deserving applicants fighting for the same jobs, getting your ideal career depends on more than simply having the right training and expertise. Being outstanding during the interview process has become essential in today's very competitive job market, as it can make or break your chances of getting the position of your dreams. 

This is where being well-prepared for an interview becomes important. During the interview, you give yourself the best chance to not only demonstrate your qualifications and excitement for the job but also to stand out from the crowd of skilled candidates. Your thorough preparation, which boosts confidence, enables you to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager and navigate the interview process with ease. A vital first step towards realising your career goals is devoting time and energy to interview preparation, regardless of your experience level or the particular position you're going for.

Understanding the interview process

Interviews often follow a similar format, though they can vary by company and role. Familiarising yourself with the process will boost your confidence as you navigate each stage. The process typically starts with a phone or video screening to assess your basic qualifications, either with the recruiter, HR or hiring manager. If you progress, you'll move on to in-person interviews with hiring managers, team members, or even senior management. Be prepared for a mix of situational, technical, and behavioural questions throughout the interview. Pay close attention and respond clearly and concisely. Most interviews also offer you a chance to ask questions — a great opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm and gain valuable insights.

Researching the Company and the Role

It's important to investigate the business and the role. It enables you to understand the company and adapt your solutions to meet its requirements and principles. To learn about the company's history, goals, and guiding values, start by going to the "About Us" section of the website. To keep up with their most current advancements, look for press releases or recent news pieces. Social media platforms can also provide insightful information about a company's customer service philosophy and corporate culture. If applying through a Recruiter then ask them for plenty of advice and information.

After that, carefully go over the job description and highlight the most crucial responsibilities and requirements. Think about how your background and abilities fit these needs and prepare concrete examples to bring up in the interview. Demonstrating your understanding of the role will convince the interviewer of your genuine interest and preparedness.

Getting ready for common interview questions

Anticipating and practising common interview questions is an excellent way to prepare. While predicting every question is impossible, certain scenarios and professions often prompt similar inquiries. Examples include:

  • "Tell me about yourself."

  • "Why are you interested in this role or company?"

  • "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"

  • "Describe a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it."

  • "How do you handle working under pressure?"

By reviewing your CV and emphasising your most relevant experiences, accomplishments, and qualities, you can prepare effective responses to these questions. Practice delivering your answers concisely and clearly.

The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) can also be a helpful tool for structuring your responses to behavioural questions. This approach ensures your answer is comprehensive and showcases your problem-solving abilities.

Mastering your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a concise and powerful speech that highlights your experience, skills, and value to a prospective employer. Imagine delivering it during a thirty-second elevator ride.

Making an impact and establishing the tone for the interview require a compelling elevator pitch. It ought to showcase the salient features, accomplishments, and special talents that make you the most qualified applicant for the position. Determine which of your accomplishments and qualities are the most important first. Think about what makes you stand out from your competitors and what you can offer the company. Practice making a clear, confident pitch to the interviewer to pique their interest and persuade them to learn more about you.

Dressing for Success

During an interview, making a good first impression is mostly dependent on how you look. Wearing business or smart attire conveys your professionalism, attention to detail, and regard for the situation. Make sure you are familiar with the company's dress code and industry norms before the interview. While certain workplaces may require traditional business attire, others may have a more laid-back atmosphere. Ensure your interview clothes are more formal than typical work attire if it is the latter.

A safe choice for men is a suit in a neutral shade like charcoal or navy. Alternatively a smart pair of trousers with a shirt and remember to polish your shoes. Blouses or smart jumper worn with skirts or trousers are all good choices for ladies. Remain in relatively subdued, traditional hues, and avoid excessively revealing apparel and accessories, although a small burst of colour is fine as it shows individuality. Ensure that you apply your makeup and hair with professionalism.

Keep in mind that dressing for success gives you more confidence throughout the interview, in addition to making a positive first impression.

Practicing for the interview

Practice is essential for mastering interview preparation. You'll feel more at ease and confident during the interview if you practice your responses and perfect your delivery.

Begin by creating a list of probable interview questions, and then practice your responses aloud. Consider videotaping yourself doing a mock interview or having a friend or family member lead a practice session. This helps you find areas for improvement, such as confidence, clarity, and conciseness.

Furthermore, become familiar with standard interview tactics, such as the previously stated STAR approach, and practice applying them in your responses. Structure your responses clearly and concisely to successfully express your talents and experiences to the interviewer.

Don't forget to practice nonverbal communication and body language. Be aware of your hand motions, posture, and eye contact. By projecting confidence through your body language, you will appear more interested and involved in the prospect.

Managing interview nervousness and stress

It's normal to feel nervous and agitated before an interview. But if you let these feelings run wild, they can make you perform worse. The ability to control your nervousness and keep your cool is essential for success in interviews.

Practices involving deep breathing can be beneficial. Practice a little bit before the interview. Take a deep inhale via your nose, hold it for a little moment, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. This method can help you start your body's relaxation reaction and reduce anxiety.

Another strategy to beat pre-interview nervousness is visualisation. Shut your eyes and visualise yourself answering questions with assurance, establishing a rapport with the interviewer, and leaving a lasting impression. It helps to reduce worry and increase self-confidence to visualise victory.

Make sure your physical well-being is your first priority in the days before your interview. Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in calming pursuits like meditation or exercise can facilitate feeling your best. Maintaining your physical health can help you be more mentally and physically clear throughout the interview. Drink plenty of water from 24 hours before your interview.

Following Up After the Interview

Sending a thank-you email or message following the interview is a professional courtesy that communicates gratitude for the chance and confirms your interest in the position.

In your thank-you note, highlight the main themes mentioned during the interview and appreciate the interviewer's time. Personalise the message by bringing up specific subjects or talks that occurred during the interview. Before submitting, proofread carefully for grammar and spelling issues, and keep an official and concise tone.

You can also use a follow-up email to address any additional questions or thoughts that may have come up after the interview. You might use this opportunity to emphasise your qualifications by emphasising any relevant abilities or experiences you may have overlooked during the interview.

Become a confident and successful interviewee

It takes time and practise to become confident in interview preparation. Just realise the significance of interview preparation, learning about the business and the role, practising, controlling interview nerves, preparing for typical interview questions, perfecting your elevator pitch, dressing for success, practising, and following up after the interview. It may seem a long list but will be worth it in the end!

Keep in mind that preparing for an interview involves more than just looking good in front of the interviewer, it also involves determining how you fit in. Make the most of the interview process to see whether the organisation shares your values and ambitions for your career. You may pave the way for success and secure the job of your dreams by going into interviews with a prepared.

Visit our website for more advice and to explore exciting design job opportunities.

Back to blog

Posted in: 6 | Tagged: interview preparation job interview interview tips career advice job search interview skills interview process follow-up job market


About us


Beech House
28 New Road
SG12 7BU


T +44 (0)1920 486125
F +44 (0)1920 412599