If you know what to expect, how to prepare and how to answer questions in a way that's going to impress your interviewer, odds are that you're going to perform incredibly well and potentially secure your dream job.

Understanding the structure of a typical job interview can work wonders when it comes to improving your chances of success. If you know what to expect, how to prepare and how to answer questions in a way that's going to impress your interviewer, odds are that you're going to perform incredibly well and potentially secure your dream job.

Below is a great guide to all the essential do's and don'ts of impressing potential employers and acing that interview.

Make sure your CV is up to scratch

A professional looking CV is vital so make sure it's typed up neatly and has clear and concise bullet points detailing your strengths and experience. Tailoring your CV to the needs of the job you are applying for can work wonders because recruiters are looking for the closest possible match they can find when it comes to skills. Finally, read over your final version several times to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes because basic errors can cost you interviews.

Do your research

Before you attend your interview, do your research about the company. Know their product/service, market, goals and any useful facts. Doing this shows the interviewer that you have taken an interest in the company and are willing to put in the necessary effort in order to secure the job.

Practice makes perfect

Preparing for a job interview is absolutely vital. It will be obvious to the employer and they will rightly assume that you can't be that interested in the position. Have a good read through the job description and think about how the desired skills listed apply to you and your experience. Be sure to mention these to the interviewer and if there is anything you're missing, emphasise how you are more than happy to learn new skills and undergo any necessary training.

Think about the most often asked interview questions and prepare your answers for them. This will help you to feel less anxious about the interview and once you are there, you will come across as a lot more confident and prepared.

During your interview

Even if you know the company's dress policy is casual, remember you are there to impress and should therefore get suited and booted. It's much better to walk in looking too smart than scruffy and like you couldn't be bothered to make an effort.

Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early as this shows you are punctual and it also gives you a chance to settle yourself before going into the interview. When you meet your employer, be happy, confident, maintain eye contact and give a firm handshake. During the interview, even if you are nervous, try to speak clearly and slowly. If they offer you a drink, always say yes because this can be a lifesaver if you get stumped on a particular question. If you need time to think, simply take a sip of your drink as this will give you the valuable few seconds you need without it seeming awkward.

If you need any other interview advice, whether you are a client or a candidate, please don't hesitate to contact Alpha and we will be more than happy to help.