So you're not sure how to prepare for an interview. Don't worry, we'll tell you everything you needs to know! We will give you advice on the key things you should do before your job interview. Now, get your pen and paper and keep reading!
How to Prepare for an Interview? - Research
One way to do prepare, is to do research. Take the time to find out as much about the company as you can. Understand their ethos, what they do and what they provide. That way you will have an answer ready for when your potential employer asks "what do you know about our company?"
Here are a few things to do research on:
- What products or services the company deals with.
- The size, location (make sure you know how to get there), style and reputation of the organisation.
- See the company's website and read the 'About us' section.
- Research who would be their main competitors and the types of products and services they have to offer.
- Rehearse 5 good reasons why you want to work for this employer.
Practise Makes Perfect
You can be sure that the interviewer will ask at least one of these common questions:
- Why did you decide to apply for this job?
- What do you have to offer the company?
- What can you tell me about our company?
- Can you tell me what are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why did you leave your last position?
- Why do you feel you are right for this position?
- Tell me about responsibilities you have held?
- How do you cope under pressure?
Practice talking about yourself and get a friend to help you out. They may take the role of interviewer. It is important you sound confident and knowledgeable. Plus, you can both laugh off any awkwardness in the begging. It will help you relax! Prepare some questions for your interview to show you're interested and want to know more about the company.
Prepare Questions for the Interview
One part of knowing how to prepare for an interview is asking good questions. Here are some examples:
- What makes your company different from your competitors?
- What significant changes has the company made in training and development over the last 3 years?
- Is there training and assistance I would receive in this role?
- What are you expecting from the successful candidate over the next year within this role?
- Who would you be reporting to and working with if successful in obtaining this position?
- How would they describe the company’s working environment?
- What is the next process will there be a 2nd interview?
- When will a decision be made?
- Is there anything else they would like to know about you?
Day of the Interview
So it's finally the big day, after rehearsing your questions and answers. It is finally here - but how do you make it perfect?
We recommend having a quiet night beforehand, relaxing yourself and having enough sleep before an interview. You want to calm nerves or any worries you may be feeling in anticipation of the day.
Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready. Remember to eat a good breakfast beforehand so that your stomach doesn't start rumbling in the middle of an interview. Yes, we've all been there, during an interview or exam, trying to conceal our hunger. It's distracting so to avoid it always eat before!
Plan a reliable way of getting to the interview, have a look at your journey, with a practice run if need be. Make sure you are 15 minutes early.
Look the Part
First impressions count. Make sure you are well groomed, with neat hair, and that your clothes are conservative. (See our Dress to Impress segment for tips on how to present yourself professionally whilst feeling confident in your clothes).
Practice your handshake to make sure that it is firm. Smile and make eye contact, but don't stare. Once invited to sit down, sit upright with your hands on your lap. Try not to fidget or look distracted. The best thing to do is to be yourself, natural and have faith in yourself - they want to interview you for a reason, so relax and try your best.
If you are a smoker make sure that you do not have an odour on your clothes. It is advisable that you do not smoke before your interview at all.
When it comes to talking in the interview, manners are crucial. Make sure you listen carefully and do not interrupt, and try to keep your tone as upbeat and polite as possible, so that nothing comes across in a rude way.
Keep your answers clear and to the point. Answer questions with examples, to show your understanding and experience. Lastly, make sure your mobile phone is off or silent so that there are no interruptions during the interview.
Ready for The Job Interview
You want to come across confident and positive in your interview. So smile and give a firm handshake. Try to relax and be yourself. When you're stressed you tend to fidget, forget the answers and loose confidence. So, take deep breaths and show them that you feel you'd be a great fit for the company. Seeing how confident you are might just convince them!
If you don't know how to act, look at the interviewer and mirror them. Maintain a positive demeanour and positive energy. Make this enjoyable for yourself and the interviewer who has probably been through multiple interviews that day. Be attentive, listen and keep eye contact.
Try to leave questions about the salary until the end. If you're asked what salary you desire, answer with a question like, “What range do you have in mind for this particular role?” If the interviewer persists or requires an answer on the form, give a range. Use a realistic range based on the current market.
At the end thank everyone for their time, smile and reassure the employer that the position is exactly what you're looking for-remember last impressions are nearly as important as first, so make sure you finish on a confident platform.
Now you know everything on how to prepare for an interview. Don't forget that a job interview is also a chance for you to see if the company is a good fit for you. So relax, be yourself and do your research. If you feel prepared you'll have one less thing to worry about! Know you company, why you're their best choice and be confident. Start applying today so you can put those tips to the test on your next interview!