Talent Acquisition

The Must-do Interview Checklist for Your Candidates

Preparation, preparation, and preparation – it’s something you’ve probably told your candidates a thousand times to do ahead of a job interview.

We’ve heard of the saying, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ and that’s something you definitely don’t want for your candidates.

“We get more questions about interviews than anything else, so hopefully this guide can help settle a few of those initial nerves.

Right at the top of our list is that any interviewee should have clear directions so they know exactly where they are going. It’s amazing how many people mess this up and turn up late.

Nothing sets a worse example than being late for a job interview. It screams that the person isn’t really interested or very reliable. Always aim to arrive to an interview at least 10 minutes early. Having clear directions and knowing exactly where you are heading makes this much easier.”

Betsy Williamson, Managing Director at Core-Asset Consulting

The other top tips on the Core-Asset Consulting list of items to bring to an interview include:


Nerves during an interview can cause a dry throat, so being prepared with a water bottle is helpful. Taking a sip can also buy time when trying to gather your thoughts to answer a difficult question. Use a reusable water bottle, since many firms are committed to tackling single-use plastics.


Having a few important points written down helps you feel calm and prepared. Jotting down keynotes during the interview will show you are engaged and help you remember important information. However, don’t forget to maintain eye contact.


You must be comfortable talking about your skills and experience without aids. But having copies of your CV shows foresight and preparation, especially if your interviewer doesn’t have it to hand. Bring up to four copies in case of a panel interview.


Particularly important for positions that involve creating visuals or writing content. A neat and well-organised portfolio gives tangible evidence of your skills. If the interview doesn’t require evidence, have a “mental checklist” of your relevant accomplishments.


If you have been asked to bring specific documents – such as your Passport or other photo ID – bring the originals, as well as copies to leave behind.


Don’t leave all the questions to the interviewer. Having your own questions could help you impress and land the job. Having two or three questions prepared in advance will demonstrate that you’ve done your research and are passionate about the role.


A smile is all too easy to forget in a high-stakes or high-pressure situation. But it will help you come across as friendly, personable and engaged.

Betsy added: “Enthusiasm might be the final item on the list, but it is the most important. Your attitude in an interview affects the outcome. If you are interested in the job, why not show it?”

Core-Asset also advises job applicants to bring along the essentials in a smart folder or bag, so they are neat, orderly and easy to access. As well as the list of dos to help interviewees be prepared, Core-Asset has also come up with a list of the top three don’ts – which can scupper hopes of landing a dream new job.

The items to leave behind are:


A major turn off for interviewers is an applicant who keeps checking their phone – or whose mobile rings during the process. Core-Asset say it is vital to ensure your phone is switched to silent and kept in a pocket or bag for the duration of the interview.


Turning up with shopping bags is guaranteed to leave interviewers unimpressed. Leave shopping bags in your car, or better still don’t go shopping until after your interview.


While having a bottle of water is sensible, showing up for your interview with snacks, a packed lunch or a takeaway coffee is a no-no. It is likely to prove distracting

“It never ceases to amaze us how many applicants unwittingly shoot themselves in the foot in these ways – without ever realizing where they went wrong. Having your phone ring in an interview is a huge distraction and can also be seen as disrespectful. Bringing in your takeaway coffee or your shopping bags can also appear unprofessional. Why sink your chances of a job when these banana skins are so easily avoided?”

Betsy Williamson, Managing Director at Core-Asset Consulting

By Ushma Mistry

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