So, you’ve managed to secure that job interview? Congrats! Here's 10 tips to make sure you continue to present yourself as the best person to do the job.
Preparing for a job interview - 10 top tips
Whether you’re new on the job market and looking for some interview inspiration, or you’re a regular interviewee – detailed research and a thorough preparation is absolutely vital to assure you interview success.
We’ve already covered CV writing tips, but if you’re called to an interview you have already stood out from other candidates and got your foot in the door. So how do you make sure you continue to present yourself as the best person to do the job in-hand? Here are our best tips on how to prepare:
1. Research the company
Study the company: the culture, the brand, the purpose and values, the people. With all the resources available these days, there is no excuse to not do your research.Websites like Glassdoor provide a good insight into what existing employees think about the company.
It’s crucial to have substantial information about a business in order to make a good impression on the potential employer. Learning about the company is also great for tailoring your interview examples.Don’t be afraid to search for the hiring manager and any other people who will be interviewing you on LinkedIn – it will tell you more about the company culture and business fit. Knowing more about the person who will be interviewing you might also help calm your pre-interview nerves.
2. Plan your journey
Make sure you know where you’re going and how long it’s going to take you to get there. And leave in plenty of time to accommodate for any traffic – it’s better to be 20 minutes early than 5 minutes late!
3. Decide your outfit
First impressions count, so dress for the job you want! Don’t leave it to the last minute, prepare your outfit the night before – finding the shirt you wanted to wear in a pile of dirty washing an hour before the interview is bound to make you panic! The outfit will depend upon the company and the role, but being smarter is better than turning up too casual.
4. Have your CV at the ready
Being prepared with key documents can increase your chances for a successful interview.
Make sure you always bring a few copies of your CV – the interviewers might forget to bring your CV with them, or you might be interviewed by several people and not everyone will have your résumé. Coming to the interview with a few extra copies shows that you are organised and plan ahead. Also, having a copy of your CV in front of you will help you explain any points easier to the interviewer – win-win!
Friendly (not arrogant!) confidence is great. We know you’re nervous, but make sure you greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake. You’ll immediately come across as easy to talk to and enthusiastic about the opportunity. Don’t forget eye contact to engage with your recruiters and make sure to notice their posture, facial expression and voice tone – it helps create rapport!
6. Prepare your answers
We all know there is likely to be a “tell me about yourself and how you suit this role” thrown in there, so be ready. Research some of the commonly asked interview questions and have short answers prepared, clearly outlining and supporting why you have the relevant skills and experience.
7. Be positive
There might be questions asking you how you deal with ‘stressful situations’, ‘problematic colleagues’ or about your weaknesses. Try to answer each question with a positive spin and avoid ranting about your old workplace and colleagues – if you badmouth your previous employers, why would they hire you and risk the same in the future?
8. It's not all about the money
Sure, we all want to be earning as much as possible, but don’t make it your main focus. Get a feel for the culture, potential for growth and other opportunities within the company. More and more people are realising that being happy in a job is more important than just earning the cash. And remember, ensuring the company is right for you is just as important as the company knowing that you are a right fit for them!
There is no harm is sending a note or e-mail to the interviewer, thanking them for their time. In fact, it shows them that you’re keen and still very much interested in the role. Do it within 24 hours of the interview and keep it light and concise – then be patient.
10. Don't turn to social media
We know: Everything is social these days and you are super excited about just being interviewed for a potential new role, but please don’t post about it on social media – no matter how well you think it went! It shows a lack of professionalism and could also jeopardise your position with the current employer.
Above all, remember that they have offered you the interview for a reason. Something in your CV or job application impressed the employer enough for them to ask you to attend an interview - this is no small thing considering the volume of applications most employers receive! The interview will allow the company to learn more about you and will give YOU the chance to learn about them. Remember, this working relationship has to suit all parties, so it’s important that you take this opportunity to interview them and make sure that they’re right for you!
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