You’ve got an interview, how should you prepare?
A job interview is generally a daunting experience for anyone. You can ease your worries a little by making sure you’re prepared for the event. This involves thinking about your prospective employer, the role you’re applying for, and all of the practical issues surrounding the interview itself.
You need to start thinking about the interview as soon as you possibly can, and the thought process doesn’t end until after the interview.
Preparing for the interview
As soon as you know you are going to be attending the interview you should start with your preparation work.
- Research the business that you would be working for. It always looks good at an interview if you know a little about the business. They won’t expect you to be an expert in their work, but it helps to know the basics.
- Make sure you know where you are going on the day. This may sound obvious but you need to know the exact route, and how to get there if you need a plan B; for instance if a road is closed, or a train service is cancelled.
- Research some usual interview questions. The sort of questions you will be asked will depend a great deal on whether the interview is competency based. In a basic job interview you may be asked questions such as:
- Why do you want this job?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- What are your main strengths?
- What are your mains weaknesses?
You should always have a well-considered answer to a question; you should never say that you want a job because the money’s good, and you should never present a weakness without giving examples of how knowing your weakness has provided you with the opportunity to improve.
In a competency based interview you will be expected to give examples of how you have demonstrated the competencies provided in the job advertisement. You should always be specific and always be “I” focused. It’s not a good idea to use an example when you were just one of group of people who worked on a project.
- Think of questions that you want to ask the employer.
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview.
- Prepare your interview clothes the night before. Remember to dress in business attire.
When the day of the interview arrives try and be a composed as possible and eat a good breakfast. Then there are certain actions you should take to try and ensure the day goes as well as possible.
- Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue; it’s better to be early than late.
- Take money with you so that you can get a taxi if you need to.
- Make sure you have all of the required paperwork with you.
- During the interview always look the interviewer or panel in the eye.
- Don’t fidget during the interview.
- If there is water available pour yourself a glass as your throat may become dry, and pausing for a sip of water always gives you extra thinking time.
- If you want to clarify the intent of a question, give your understanding of it and then ask for clarification from the interview panel. This can also give you extra time to consider your answer.
- Always be polite and cordial to the interview panel, smile and emit a pleasant vibe.
- Make sure that you ask any questions you have.
- Finally, at the end of the interview, shake hands with the interviewer or panel and remain positive, even if you don’t think it has gone well.
Good Luck! Keepk eye on our future posts about recruiting!