How to prepare for your interview

If you have an interview coming up or are starting to look for a new job, this guide will give you essential guidance on how to give yourself the best chance of performing well and securing your dream job.


Research the company and the role

  • Thoroughly research the company, their products and their competitors
  • Take a look at their social media handles, trade press, and financial press etc for the latest company news.
  • If you are being interviewed for a role linked to a specific automotive brand – visit a dealership to immerse yourself in the brand.
  • Look up your interviewers on LinkedIn – see who and what you have in common

Prepare yourself to answer competency questions

These are questions which ask you to provide a specific example of your skills and/ or experience, e.g.

  • ‘Tell me about a time recently when you have had to deal with a difficult situation at work’?
  • ‘Give an example of when you have made a decision that you didn’t want to make’?

These questions will be directly linked to the position that you are being interviewed for and aim to test how your skills match the requirements of the role. These questions will be varied and could potentially include any desired skills, however common skills include: leadership, delegation, negotiation, new business development, team management, influencing skills, analysis of data etc. More in depth information on competency-based questioning can be found here.

On the day

Be present and dress appropriately

The first impression given to the interviewer is important – dress and act appropriately. Not all interviews require suits, but you do want to show that you can blend into the culture of the business, whether it be in a formal or informal setting.

When you’re greeted, smile warmly, shake hands firmly and make eye contact. You also need to be aware of nonverbal language and ‘fillers’ – don’t fidget and try not to fill spaces with words like ‘um’ and ‘like’.

Answer the question

Listen attentively and answer the questions posed to you – ask for clarification if you are unclear. Watch for social cues that suggest you should elaborate or shorten responses and don’t use one-word answers

Tell them about you and your experiences

Talk in the first person. Being a part of a team is great, but interviewers want to know what YOU can do and what YOU have achieved. Have examples that you can share with them.

Ask questions

Near the end of the interview, there is usually an opportunity to ask questions. You might have questions related to the interview itself. It is also impressive if you have questions based on research you did ahead of time. It shows interest in the organisation and job.

Here at Copeland we help employees progress their careers in the automotive industry every day. Learn more about how we help candidates:

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