It was the Roman Philosopher Seneca who said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Below we have provided a Pre-interview Plan, Tips for during the Interview and a Checklist in order to ensure you have everything you need to stand out against other candidates.
- Start with the job description- It is a simple first step, but many people tend to skim over the job descriptions without fully understanding the tasks they would be required to do! Take your time to read it properly.
- Research the company where you are having the interview- You should do this in several ways:
- Visit their website- Research the company’s background, product, services, client-base and values.
- Research who is hiring you- Via platforms such as LinkedIn it is much easier now to see who you would be working for.
- Review press articles- This will give you an idea of the performance and achievements of the company.
- Talk to somebody involved in the industry- If possible, to gain a deeper understanding of how the organisation operates.
- Practise, Practise, Practise- Think of likely questions that you could get asked and come up with strong structured responses. The internet or previous interviews can help here. Try going over them with family members or friends to see how your responses sound.
- Create a question list- At the end of an interview you are always asked ‘Do you have any questions?’ Always say yes! Refer to any notes you have taken during the interview and try not to cover previous topics. This is a great chance to explore how you would fit in at the company.
- Do a practise run- It is important you know where your interview is being held. There is nothing worse than doing all this preparation if you get lost on the day and turn up late to your interview.
- Get a good night’s sleep- After you have done all of the above and picked out the outfit you are going to wear, its vital you get a good rest before the interview!
Tips for during the Interview
- Introduce yourself with a friendly handshake– This seems simple, but it shows your employer respect and starts the interview with a good opening. Remember it takes 7 seconds to make a first impression.
- Speak clearly and confidently– Try not to speak too fast and remember to breathe between sentences. It is natural to be nervous, but remember it is marathon not a sprint!
- Posture is Important– Do not sit uncomfortably but try to sit straight. Also avoid any fidgeting as it distracts the employer away from what you saying.
- Show personality– One of the main thing’s employers are looking at, is how you would fit in at the company. Be friendly, but be careful not to disclose too much personal information.
- Remember your manners– Be polite, and do not speak badly about previous employers as this only reflects negatively on you. Also remember to smile!
- Ask for clarification- If there is ever anything you do not understand it is better to ask the employer to expand on their question,rather than try to pretend you know the answer.
- Be conscientious– Make notes for questions at the end of the interview but also maintain eye-contact when the interviewer is speaking to show you are paying attention.
- Exit how you came in– Shake your interviewers’ hand again when you leave and tell them it was a pleasure to meet them.
Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free and appropriate.
Take an extra copy of your CV and any self- prepared documents required for the interview.
Make sure you have the postcode of the organisation in case you get lost.
A portfolio of your achievements.
Any examples of previous accomplishments that demonstrate your strengths.
Don’t forget a pen and notebook. You may need to make notes or complete a task for employers.
Have your references to hand.
Have your personal credentials. It is always good to have proof of identify in case your employers need to see them.