Interviews, whether you relish or hate them, there’s no denying the fact that preparation often can, and does, pay off.
However, knowing how best to prepare can be somewhat of a minefield, especially if you’re a graduate who’s new to the world of job hunting or somebody who’s not really had to undergo that many interviews. Whatever your circumstances it can be tricky to know how to be interview ready. For example, how do you know which advice is the best advice to follow? What’s considered best practice and what isn’t?
Regardless of the job you’re applying for, following these five tips will help you feel prepared and confident for your next interview:
TIP 1: Do your research
As daunting as this may seem or as busy as you might be, we can’t stress to you enough the importance of swatting up on the company you’re being interviewed by. Read their website, social media profiles, news coverage and organisational information, such as their business plan, visions and values, anything that will enable you to get more of a feel for the place.
Don’t just limit yourself to learning about the company either; make sure you get an idea of what’s happening within their industry. For instance, are there any key legislation changes coming up? What are the current trends? Who are their key competitors and what are they doing right now?
TIP 2: Don’t overlook the practicalities
In your haste to learn everything you can about your potential employer, it can be very easy to overlook the practicalities. Whether face to face or virtual, choosing your outfit beforehand, trying to get a good night’s sleep, planning your journey/home location for your interview and eating a light snack before you start will make you feel more prepared.
TIP 3: Be prepared to ask questions
Nine times out of ten, you’re going to be asked at some point in your interview if you have any questions. Make sure you shine by asking any questions you may have come across while doing your research (Tip 1) and any wider, more informed questions you might have. While it is acceptable to ask more trivial questions, such as the length of your lunch break, posing more informed, clearly researched questions will make you stand out and reinforce your level of commitment to working for that particular company.
TIP 4: Consider what you might be asked
Casting your mind forward to the interview and thinking about the types of questions you might get asked and your answers will stand you in good stead. Although interviews don’t tend to follow exactly the same format there are some questions that do tend to get frequently asked, such as:
- Tell us about yourself?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work for us? What can you offer us?
- What’s your greatest career achievement so far and why?
- What are your salary expectations?
TIP 5: Give your key skills, abilities and experience some thought
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’ve familiarised yourself with the job description and specification and are clear on where your skills and experience fit with the requirements. Have a think about what you’ve worked on in the past and how it’s applicable to what your potential employer is looking for. Referring to practical work examples and talking through relevant previous projects demonstrates that you believe you can do the job and have the right type of experience for the role.
These tips are designed to provide you with a flavour of just some of the ways in which you can prepare for an interview. They are by no means an exhaustive list and the preparation you undertake will vary according to your experience, the type of role you are applying for and organisation that’s advertising the role.
For more interview preparation advice or to find out more, call us on 02476 596822. In the meantime, discover the steps you can take to make it easier to juggle your work and personal life, read our blog, ‘Ways to achieve a better work-life balance.’