Preparation is key. Even some of the best candidates fail at the interview stage because they underestimate what is expected of them and simply turn up unprepared. Make sure that you don’t make this mistake. Put in the groundwork and you’ll be ready to impress.
Do your research
It is paramount that you take the time to research the company you are interviewing for. Try to get a feel of their primary services, company culture, and their position within the industry. To do this try to find any literature about the company and read all the information they have to offer on their website.
One of the first questions that is often asked is whether you know much about the company, so when the opportunity arises, impress the interviewer with your ability to demonstrate a keen interest in the company. It’ll certainly put you in good standing for the rest of your interview.
Don’t be rushed off your feet
Plan your route in advance and make sure to set off with plenty of time to spare. If you’re early, go for a coffee nearby. This will allow you to compose yourself before your interview and ensure that you do not arrive in a fluster.
Be sure to prepare anything you feel like you might need for your interview the night before, for example:
- Portfolio and examples of your work (if applicable)
- A copy of your CV
- The job description
- Your invitation to the interview
Dress to impress
First impressions count. The best way to make a positive impact straight away is by the way you dress. Look smart rather than trendy, this will ensure you’re showing commitment and professionalism.
Communication is key
Greet your interviewer with a smile and communicate with them in a clear, positive and polite manner. Be sure to ask them how they are and state that it is a pleasure to be there. These are simple things on their own, but will help to set the tone of things to come.
Be confident and outgoing, and engage with the interviewer. Try not to answer questions in single syllables, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and think about how you can link questions to the responsibilities and skills outlined in your CV. Always try to give at least one example too.
The language that you use is extremely important. Be proactive and try not to use weak answers. Use statement such as ”I can” instead of “I think I can”, this will lend more authority to what you say. If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification, don’t guess.
Be aware of your body language. Crossed arms, for example, indicate that you are being closed off and in some cases hostile. Adopt good posture, be open and try to maintain eye contact as much as possible.
Readying yourself for questions
Perhaps the most daunting part of preparing for any interview is wondering what questions you’ll be asked. There’s really no need to worry though.
One thing you must be able to do is back up and expand on your CV information rather than simply repeating what is written. A good interviewer will probe these points.Transferable skills are the most important factors to highlight with regards to the specific role you are applying for.
Here are some examples of potential questions that you can prepare answers to before your interview:
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would your current manager describe you?
- What motivates you?
- Why are you leaving your current role?
- What skills and expertise do you have for this job?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Give an example of how you handled a certain situation i.e. a complaint, busy period, or how you have handled customer service in your current role.
It’s not only the interviewer that gets to ask questions. At the end of the interview you will often be encouraged to to voice your thoughts. Here are few suggestions with regards to what you should ask:
- What are the opportunities for career progression?
- What training opportunities do you have?
- How has this position been created?
- What can you tell me about the team and people that I will be working with?
- How long will it take to make a final decision and / or what is the recruitment process?
Once the interview is complete
At the end of your interview always be thankful and appreciative. Plan your route home and relax – the hard work is done.
Congratulation and well done for getting this far. Good luck with your interview, and remember if you are not successful try to understand why, so that you can possibly address this next time. Don’t give up, consider it valuable interview experience!
If you’d like to discuss how to prepare for your interview in more depth, get in touch with one of our experts today ring 0845 475 3392 (International: +44-1-204-368070) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.