How to prepare for an interview
Attending a job interview can be a very stressful process. It’s usually the first time you’ll interact with the potential employer beyond the initial application and often is the deciding factor if you’ve been successful for the role or a second interview. Interviews can be conducted in numerous ways including:
- Phone call
- Virtual Meeting
- Face-to-face interview
Naturally, much preparation should be planned before the interview date. It’s best advised not to attend an interview without any preparation as it can put you at a severe disadvantage. Your number 1 priority is to leave a good first impression and place yourself as a top candidate of choice. By preparing for this goal, you are bringing yourself one step closer to being hired.
Although, knowing you must prepare for an interview is very different from actively carrying out the preparations. It can be easy to get overwhelmed or unsure where to start when trying to prepare for an Interview.
So, to help support you and give you a place to start, below are our top tips when preparing for an interview:
- Research – Reread and get familiar with the job description. Take notes on what the role is asking for, as it is most likely the same topics which will be asked about in the interview. Alongside this, research the company via its website or social media pages. This will give you an overview of what the company’s values, ethics, and work environment are like and be able to help you cultivate your answers to be more suitable for the role and organisation you’re applying for.
- Dress to impress – How you look is extremely important for first impressions. There is a level of expectation when attending interviews that you are smartly dressed in business attire. This could be something as simple as a shirt, trousers, shoes, and a blazer. In the very first interview, you want to highlight your professionality both visually and through your personality. Make sure your appearance is maintained physically well.
- Bring the right equipment – Before attending an interview, make sure you’re taking the right tools with you. This would be a notebook, pen, and your work documentation or certificates of achievement if requested.
- Look after yourself – Before the interview, make sure you have a healthy meal. Eating and drinking before the interview can help reengerise, reduce fatigue and improve your concentration levels.
- Be punctual – The last thing you want to do during an interview is to attend late. Punctuality is extremely important for any job role and employers are looking for candidates that are committed to working hours. Preplan your journey and add in extra time in case something goes wrong, or you struggle to find the location. Try to always be at least 10 – 15 minutes early for an interview. It’s better to be early to an interview than late!
- Be positive and confident – Employers will examine your body and speech language during the interview. Prepare yourself beforehand by going into the interview with a positive mindset. Be confident in your answers and explain your past experiences or challenges in detail. Keep your tone open and polite. Try not to slouch in your seat or swing your legs. Avoid chewing gum or eating during the interview as this will leave a wrong impression and make it difficult for hiring managers to understand you. Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer and smile as much as possible. You want to present yourself as an approachable, enthusiastic, and passionate potential employee.
- Prepare questions to ask beforehand – People often become blank at the end of an interview when the employer asks the candidate if they have any questions. This could be either because of nerves or you’re unsure if what you want to ask is appropriate. It’s good to spend some time before the interview to draft potential questions. Some key questions you could potentially ask during the interview could be:
- How many members are in the team, and could you tell me a bit more about them?
- Could you explain what my day-to-day role would be like?
- What are the central values of the company?
- Is there any scope for progression in the role?
- What are the most beneficial aspects of the role?
- Ask about the next steps – Finally, before the interview finishes always keep in mind to ask about what the next steps are. This is extremely important as it gives you a timeline for whether you will be contacted and the process of how. Make sure to thank the interviewer for allowing you to meet them face-to-face or in an online interview.
Try out these above steps the next time you attend an interview and see what difference it makes! If you’re actively looking for a role and trying to try out your interview skills to succeed in an application, why not try applying for one of our roles? Click here to find out more.