How to Prepare for an Interview

Prepare or beware!

Being prepared for an interview heightens your chances of becoming hired. Follow this list for tips on what to prepare before the interview, and what to do in and after the interview to wow the hiring manager!


How to prepare for a job interview - Charity Careers Scotland

1. Do your research

What does the charity do overall? Do you understand the mission and vision statement? -Where is the charity located? Is there sufficient parking? What is the best form of transportation to get there? -Do you understand what is expected of your role? -Research the financial standing of the charity – this will help you answer the salary question if it arises -Compile a general list of questions from your research

2. Plan your Outfit

Dress professional, as if you were on the first day of the job. If asked to dress ‘business casual’, clarification will help alleviate embarrassment from dressing inappropriately -Strive to be scent free and well groomed -Analyze your chosen outfit for proper fit, stains, strings, holes and wrinkles -Plan to arrive 10 minutes early unless the interviewer states otherwise

3. Plan what to Bring

Multiple copies of your resume -Volunteer list, if available -Portfolio, if necessary -Recommendation letters -Reference list -Pen and notepad, including a folder to hold these items -A list of questions or statements -Important documents, if needed for the application – Drivers License #, SIN Card – who knows, you may be hired on the spot!

4. Plan your Speech

Engage in a mock interview with a friend or yourself -Memorize the best responses by reviewing the questions that would be posed based on the job description. Prepare by acting as if you are a contestant on Jeopardy -Think of how you will genuinely help the charity write them down to share in the interview

5. What to do in the Interview

Greet the interviewer with a confident handshake and warm smile -Control your facial expressions -Maintain great eye contact -Stay professional, do not stray off into personal stories unless asked -Be polite and enthusiastic -Give the employer personal space -Be aware of the non-verbal cues the interviewer may present -No gum -No looking at the time or your phone -Put your phone on silent and away -Be energetic -Don’t let off that you are desperate

6. Plan how to Communicate

Verbalize only positives, careful of being too negative about yourself and others -Filter what you say and think before responding -Advertise your worth -Memorize your qualifications and experiences -Don’t interrupt or over-talk -Listen -Ask for clarification if you do not understand the question -What personality traits do you possess that make you a perfect fit for the job? -Watch the length of your pauses -Don’t use slang words -Do not bring up salary expectations -Ask about the hiring process if it had not been previously indicated

7. After the Interview

Send a thank you email no later than 24 hours after the interview – thank them for inviting you to be interviewed while stating your interest in the role and your qualifications -Reflect on what you did well and what you didn’t do well, write this down -Call if you have had no response for one week


Bruce Tait - How to prepare for an interview

Bruce Tait, is the Founder of Charity Careers Scotland.  During his thirty years as Director of Fundraising and Consultant to a number of Scottish Charities, Bruce worked with all levels of staff and Boards as he helped them grow their annual fundraising revenues. It was his passion for mentoring countless individuals as well as the recruitment and retention of staff for his own company and many of his charity clients that has led to the creation of Charity Careers Scotland.