How To Prepare For An Interview.
When you’ve been invited for an interview, your thoughts naturally turn on how you are going to give a winning performance on the day. A bit like exams, interviews can creep up on you, so preparing in advance is key to increase your chance of success.
Below, we have provided a checklist of some of the key areas that we’d recommend preparing for. Some of it may seem a bit obvious, however, because many people don’t interview frequently, it’s worth reminding yourself of these areas.
Knowledge is key to being successful at an interview. You should always research about the company, their products or services and their clients. The idea is to learn about what they do, but also to find out how they see themselves. Company’s websites vary in content and quality, but you should get a sense of who they are and what makes them different from their competition. If that understanding is reflected in your conversation in the interview, you’ll come across as if you ‘get’ them – and that’s appealing to an interviewer.
Knowledge and an interest in the business can really help you succeed during your interview, because unsurprisingly, 47% of interviewers said that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company.
Spend some time going through the brief line by line and identify how your experience and skills equip you to excel at the job. In particular, for each responsibility or qualification listed, try to come up with at least four or five concrete examples from your past work, that you can use as supporting evidence to paint a picture of how you operate, what you’ve achieved and why you’re great at what you do.
Prepare For Common Questions
‘Tell me about yourself’ ‘Talk me through your CV’ ‘Strengths and weaknesses’ ‘Why are you leaving your current job?’ ‘What interests you about this opening?’
Interviewers normally have a standard set of questions they will want to ask every candidate, and most of these will be questions you have heard and potentially been asked many times before. So preparing from them with solid responses that you can comfortably remember will be a massive help. Once you have your list of standard questions, figure out how you’ll answer each of them. The best way to do this is to write down a complete answer you are happy with, and then practice saying it out loud. It might seem silly at first, but this process will help you easily retrieve the answers when you’re sitting in an interview.
Questions Of Your Own
Towards the end of the interview, your interviewer will probably ask what questions you have for them. You should not see this time as an additional opportunity to impress your interviewer. This is your time to get the information you need to figure out if this is a job you want and whether it’s a good fit for you. So think about what you really want to know when you imagine going to work at this job every day for the next several years.
Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:
– Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?
– What sort of training and development would be provided to me?
– What are you hoping a person in this role will accomplish in their first year? – What qualities do your most successful employees have?
– How would you describe the culture here?
– What is your timeline for next steps?
Being in the right state of mind is key to giving yourself the best opportunity at an interview. Nerves are natural, but it can help to remember that the employer wouldn’t be interviewing you if they hadn’t already determined that you’re at least appropriate for the job.
Most employers ask for digital copies of your CV with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself, so remember to have a few copies handy to show that you’re prepared and organised. Read over your CV and rehearse explanations for any potential gaps that may appear. These can be a concern for some employers, so it’s best you prepare your explanation to show them that you’re not a risk.
Interviews can be stressful for most people for many reasons, but getting to an interview can be a challenge in itself. If your interview is in an unfamiliar area or even an entire new city, it can be tricky finding your way around and making sure you show up on time.
Most interviews are scheduled days or weeks in advance, so you have time to research the location. If your interview is close enough, you can take the day to go to the location and check out the parking, take note of the traffic and find the office where your interview will take place.
Even with plenty of time for your commute, sometimes situations out of your control can still cause you to be late. If something happens and you know you’ll be a little late, call your point of contact and make them aware of the situation. The majority of people are empathetic to these situations and understand that some things just can’t be helped.
And finally, preparing your interview outfit seems like a small thing, but dressing well and feeling good about your appearance can increase your confidence as well as boosting your professional image.BACK