The big day is approaching.
You’ve been invited for an interview. It’s great news, but it can be very daunting at the same time, particularly if you haven’t had one for a long while.
Here are some tips to help you prepare.
Do Your Research
As the saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Not only should you research the role and company for your own interest/information, but also you will more than likely be asked specific questions about the company in the interview so they can see if you are truly interested in working for them. Make sure you research the company, anything that has happened to them over the past year, any awards they have received recently or any news stories.
In addition, research their sector/industry so that you have the confidence to communicate with the interviewer and you know where and how the company is positioned, as well as who their key competitors are.
Practise Your Answers
It’s impossible to guess everything that an interviewer could ask you, but there are key questions that are generally asked every time so make sure you have a great answer!
Typical questions include, “why did you apply?”, “What skills can you bring to the role?”, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, “explain a time you had to make a difficult decision and what was the outcome?”.
Make sure you have the answers prepared with scenarios you can talk about to add substance. Also, practice what your personal strengths and weaknesses are (make sure your weaknesses have a positive twist!).
Ensuring you are prepared for an interview can help eliminate nerves. Make sure you know the full address and route to the interview location, leave with plenty of time for potential delays, and have everything prepared the night before (including any requested ID or certificates etc). Make sure you eat and keep hydrated prior to the interview – being hungry and thirsty will affect your concentration and your answers! Remember, your interviewers are just people and they have been in your situation before!
Have four or five questions written down for the interview as this will demonstrate that you are seriously interested in the role. Ask about the position, the department you would be in, the team you will be part of, what an average day or week is like and what the culture/goals of the company are. DON’T ask about salary, sick pay or holidays UNLESS the interviewer starts the discussion.