If there is one bit of job seeking advice that is crucial, it is this: You should always prepare for a job interview. The purpose of an interview is to convince a recruiter that you have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience for the position. Candidates who feel fully prepared for an upcoming interview are more likely to perform better and less likely to suffer from nervousness. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
The moment you get confirmation of your interview date it’s time to start preparing.
- Look at the job description and make a list of your skills and experience that are most relevant to the position.
- Begin researching the company. You can examine their website, their products/services, and social media accounts. These along with their company mission statement and organisational structure is important to get a sense of their culture.
- Search for the company name in Google News to learn more about any new initiatives, planned developments, expansions or mergers.
- Research your interviewer or prospective hiring manager on LinkedIn.
- Do a little bit of competitive analysis and know who the company’s target customer is.
- Arrange to speak to someone in the industry if possible. Alternatively, if you are applying internally for a higher position in a company, ask to meet a current employee on the team for an informal chat. The more insight you can garner, the more prepared you will be.
- Prepare any portfolio of work you want to bring with you.
- Research the type of questions commonly asked in an interview and dig deeper to find those associated with your industry. In every interview, there will be a mix of generic and career specific questions asked.
- Decide what to wear to the interview.
Before The Interview
In the lead up to the interview, it’s time to put your preparation into action and refine your interview techniques.
- Ask a friend or colleague to help you practice for the interview. Prepare a list of questions and answers and do a mock interview. Rehearsing will help you to overcome any nerves on the day and allow you refine your answers.
- Video record yourself answering questions and watch yourself on tape. This can be an uncomfortable exercise for some candidates but it will allow you to spot body language mistakes you may not be aware of.
- Write down the three most important pieces of information you want the interviewer to know about you and include it in your interview notes.
- Know the exact location of the interview and plan your route to getting there.
- Confirm with the company the date and time of the interview, and whom you will be meeting with, a few days prior to the day. Only do this if you have not already received a reminder from them first.
On The Day of The Interview
- Get up early after a having a good night’s rest.
- Bring extra copies of your CV in case the recruiter cannot find yours on the day. Also, bring a notepad and pen and your portfolio of work if relevant.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview location and arrive early if possible. However, do not present at reception more than 10 minutes before your allocated interview time, instead wait in a nearby café or take a stroll around the building.
- Warmly greet all staff you meet on the way to the interview and smile at the receptionist.
- Take the time to review your final interview preparatory notes, drink some water and check your appearance before presenting at the reception. Furthermore, have the bottled water with you for the interview in case they don’t have some ready for you.
- Turn off your phone and relax for the few minutes before you are called in.
- Finally, think positive thoughts, be natural and enjoy the interview!