8 things you should do to prepare for your interview
For even the most outgoing individuals, interviews can be terrifying. It’s a situation where you are under pressure to sell yourself to the best of your ability, and it is so easy to panic and get lost in every possible thing that could go wrong. Interview preparation is critical to avoid disappointment and regret! If you’ve got time to read, research and practice before your interviews, then you can ensure that you come out knowing you did your very best.
Here are 8 things you should do to prepare for your interview:
1) Practice and Prepare
You will never know what they may ask you at an interview, but you can be smart by preparing flexible answers and topics as part of your interview preparation. It is sometimes useful to talk to friends or family beforehand about your experience and achievements, even if just in a conversation; keeping your successes fresh and showing you’re proud of them is the basis of any good interview.
2) Research the Company, and Show What You Know
Knowing the company before you arrive for your interviewshows that you are eager and that you have put some effort into preparing for your interview, but is also smart and suggests that you are the kind of person to go above and beyond. Not sure where to start? Follow these steps:
- Start by visiting the Company Website
- Take a look through the company’s Social Media accounts
- Track the individuals you will be interviewed by on LinkedIn (see if they have joined any groups or try and get an angle on what kind of person they are)
- Prepare (either written or mentally) what you feel you will bring to the team to improve things
- Research their competitors
3) Keep Your Experience Relevant to the Job at Hand
Make sure you link your previous achievements to the post on offer. If you are going for a teaching position, but boast about your financial experience, this is not going to show off your best attributes for teaching a classroom of children. You want to find a way of making even irrelevant jobs, well, relevant! Continuing with our example, did you do any speeches or networking in the finance job? Were there moments where you were in charge of teaching other staff members? There is always a way to link it!
One question many dread is the “Tell Me About a Time When…” on the spot, this can stump even the wittiest of us, so having a flexible skillset is best for these kinds of questions too.
4) Develop a Connection With the Interviewer
Your characteristics will ultimately depend on who you are talking to and what type of interview it is.
If you are sitting across a table from 3 managing directors, then you want to be ready to address all of them with good eye contact and a confident presence. If you are in a group interview, you want to not only stand out but also show that you can listen to others and respond respectfully (no arrogance people!). Also, something many people forget, REMEMBER THE INTERVIEWERS NAME! You can guarantee that it will not go unnoticed.
5) Dress for Success
Before you say a single word, you will have already made an impression based on what you are wearing. Every company has a different dress code; which is one of many reasons why researching the company is so important. You want to dress to impress! Not like you’re off on a night out, but smart and professional.
For reasonably priced interview clothing:
Ladies: sites such as Boohoo have a “career” section of clothing.
Guys: TM Lewin is excellent for smart yet affordable clothing with styles to suit all.
6) Be on Time (That Means Early)
As if there isn’t enough to think about, you do also have to consider time management. The suggested time to arrive at an interview is 15 minutes early. This gives enough time for you to fill out any paperwork, and also enough time for them to get ready for you. Any earlier and you may mess up their schedule, any later and it won’t look great. Aiming to get there 15 min’s early also gives you leeway in case of bad traffic or any issues travelling to the meeting. Unfortunately sometimes being late is unavoidable, if this happens, call them right away and let them and apologise sincerely.
7) Show them you ‘Want to Aim High’
Most companies will ask you where you see yourself in 5 years, or what progression do you expect in the role. Don’t be afraid to aim high, tell them you want to progress as high as you can because you have ambition and drive. Most businesses will be looking for someone with long-term goals so definitely think about this before the big day as its about 95% likely they will ask you.
8) Follow-Up After the Interview
If you haven’t heard from them, then there is no harm in chasing it up after a few days, you never know, it might be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.
If you don’t get the job, don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s very hard these days to find work. On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 CVs. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job (Glassdoor Statistics). Come away from the interview, knowing you will have tried your hardest starting with good interview preparation. Also, don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism and use it to win your next interview.
If you fancy reading more about how to approach interviews, there are some great books out there! Click Here to see 10 books that are worth a read.
At Recruitment 99 we will help you prepare for your interviews, we will talk through all the stages before, during and after the interview process. We are with you every step of the way to make sure you perform to your best ability at the crucial job interviews and get the job you want.