Preparing for an Interview

Job interviews can be intimidating experiences but not if you are prepared. There are a series of steps that you can follow in advance to make sure things go smoothly, which will boost your confidence and make you shine above your competition.

1.Know Yourself
There are many things that you must be clear about: your skills, your career, your goals, your own potential, your plans, etc;
What are your skills and abilities?
What are you strengths/weaknesses?
What are your most important accomplishments?
How do your skills and experiences relate to the position and employers’ needs?
Are you willing to relocate?
What key points do you want to be sure to get across during the interview?
How does this position fit into your career goals?
Know your CV. Any gaps/anomalies you may need to explain?

2. Research
It’s likely that you did a fair amount of research on the company when you first applied for the job. However, it’s not just the general stuff a recruiter expects you to know. It’s time to get to the nitty gritty. Do as much as you can to learn about the company, their position in the market,their social media activity. Also find out as much as you can about the role, and research more about your interviewer eg on LinkedIn, Twitter.

3. Practice your route
Don’t leave the journey as an afterthought or end up struggling to read your A-Z or navigate Google Maps as you make the mad-dash to arrive at the interview on time. Find out how to get where you need to go, and practice the journey if you have time. It’s worth every extra minute just to avoid the awkwardness and bad impression of arriving 10 minutes late.

4. Polish your interview answers
You can’t always predict what questions will come up but the old classics like ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time’ through to ‘what animal/biscuit would you be, and why?’ do still come up!
Have a look online and have a practice.

4.Prepare your own questions
One of the keys to success at any interview is learning to treat it like a two-way conversation.
An employer doesn’t just want to see how you can stand up to their questioning, but also see if you can give as good as you get. It also demonstrates how much research you have done and if you really want the role. So think what you’d really like to know about the role and the company, and write it down in advance.

5. Get your outfit sorted the night before.
How you look at an interview plays a big part in giving out a good first impression. Underdress, and you’ll look as if you’re not taking the role as seriously as you should. Overdress, and you’ll potentially stand out as a bad fit for the team. And it doesn’t always mean a suit. If you’re really struggling, ask around, call ahead of time and ask for guidance from someone in their HR team.

6. Pack you bag
Think of anything else you may need to take with you to the interview and pack your bag the night before. For example, a copy of your CV is always handy if you need a point of reference for your accomplishments, and a pad and pen may be useful if any written tasks happen to come up. Other optional extras could include: certificates or records of achievement, a reference from a previous employer, client testimonials, a bottle of water, mints, tissues.

7. On the day
Have a balanced breakfast/lunch,take your time getting ready, leave home in plenty of time, and arrive at the offices early.
Once you’ve arrived, there’s no turning back. Be as friendly and polite as possible from the outset, and greet everyone you meet warmly. You never know who the receptionist might be reporting to. Turn your phone off!

8. Relax
Finally, try your best to relax and enjoy the experience. Remember the more confident you come across, the more likely you are to put your interviewer at ease. And with the preparation taken care of, there should be nothing left to worry about…

Good Luck!