Wondering how to prepare for an interview? We outline 6 preparation techniques that will leave you ready to tackle that crucial first interview!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW: 6 TOP TIPS
When it comes to job interviews, the old adage rings true: you don’t get a second chance to make that critical first impression, so follow our 6 tips and be prepared to make it an interview they will remember for all the right reasons.
1. BE RESEARCH-READY
You would be amazed by the amount of both junior and senior candidates who fail to conduct proper research before an interview. Research the company, the sector and their competitors thoroughly. A look over the organisation’s website and a quick search on Google simply isn’t enough “ the interviewer will want to see that you researched history, market share, products, portfolio, mergers, takeovers, and existing and potential competitors.
Look for current and past employees on LinkedIn. Get a feel for career progressions. A little time and thought will show you what skills the company values, it’s areas of growth, why employees come and go. Companies are a collection of individuals and each individual has a story to tell. Research the person(s) who will interview you;how will you know ahead of time who will interview you? Ask. Think about how you can establish a rapport and connection with the interviewer.
2. INTERROGATE THE JOB SPECIFICATION
With it as your guidebook, map out your core skills so that they meet each requirement. The interviewer will have a weighting scale for each requirement and will be marking your answers. Choose a strong example for each competency listed on the specification and memorise it. At the right moment, drill into it quickly and efficiently, making sure to state the commercial relevance of your example and the positive impact your contribution made.
3. BE METRIC PREPARED
Know your own CV inside out and how directly your current/past experiences correlate to what the company is looking for. Have well pepared stats on your previous wins in relevant roles.
When considering how to prepare for an interview, prepare for competency and technical-based questions along with the chance ofodd questions: for example, some companies tend to use a lot of unusual questions, designed to analyse your train of thought or problem solving capabilities. Take your time when answering questions to ensure you are composed and able to give the best responses.
4. ON THE DAY, DRESS TO SUIT
It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t dress with the appropriate level of formality. The interviewer is looking for someone who will be able to represent the organisation professionally, so dress accordingly! If in doubt, go with formal professional attire.
5. DON’T OVERPOWER THEM
That aftershave or perfume you love might be the one they can’t stand. Avoid wearing any strong smells or scents, and definitely don’t smoke beforehand.
6. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS
Ideally, arrive fifteen minutes early so you have time to settle yourself, check your notes etc. Don’t be any earlier as it might make the interviewer feel pressurised and throw their day of course. Interviewers allocate specific amounts of time for each meeting, so be ready, be on time. For our advice on how to conduct yourself during the interview, read How to Ace Your Job Interview.