5 steps to preparing for a job interview

So, you’ve applied for the job and you’ve got an interview. Many people think the next step is to turn up to the company’s office and sit through the interview. The better prepared a candidate is, the easier it is to stand out from the competition. We have outlined some useful tips below which will help you in the preparation for your interview.

Do your research

Before arriving to the interview ensure you research the company, the sector and the competitors.  This is a key way to stand out from the crowd and show you have a real interest in the position and the company. The interviewer will want to see that you did more than just a quick online search on the company. As a first step, based on the company website, ensure you have read the mission statement and company vision.  The company are hiring you to help them achieve their mission and vision, so you need to be able to show them that you are the best candidate to help the team achieve this. Check the company’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to see any recent announcements or events they held and use this to your advantage.

While carrying out your online research you should also check reviews from previous and current employees to make sure that the company is the right fit for you. Check your LinkedIn network to see if you have a connection with a current or previous employee who can give you information to get the edge over the other candidates. Viewing past and present employees in the organisation will also give you an idea of career progression within the company which you could question during the interview.

Research the interviewer

Find out who will be interviewing you and review their LinkedIn profile, as this will give you an idea of their career path and whether the company promotes staff from within to managerial positions. Try and find out what the interviewer looks like so you can recognise that person as soon as you are introduced. It may sound obvious but know how to pronounce the interviewers name to avoid any awkward moments. Research the team that you would be joining if you were to get hired, this will give you an idea of the type of person that the hiring manager has previously hired.

Prepare and practice

To show that you are the best fit for the job create a list of your assets that match the requirements of the job. You should prepare well-thought-out answers to questions that the interviewer is most likely to ask relating to your skills and experience. Prepare strong examples that match each competency that is listed on the job description. You should also put yourself in to the shoes of the interviewer and look for reasons why they may not want to hire you and prepare your defence. Do practice interviews, it’s advised to practice saying these answers out loud in a mock interview with a family member or friend.

Plan for the day

Aim to get to your interview at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time and ensure you know exactly how to get there. If you’re driving look up how long it will take you to get to the interview at the time of day your interview is at and know where you are going to park. If your taking public transport look up the schedules and give yourself plenty of time in case of any delays.

Don’t leave it until the last minute to choose your outfit, know what you are going to wear to the interview and make sure it is clean and not creased. When dressing for an interview in a formal organisation, dress accordingly in business attire.  This will help you in making the right first impression.

The Interview

So, you’ve arrived at your interview on time and your full of nerves. Remember to breathe and relax, you’ve been asked to an interview because you’re among the top candidates for the job. Be aware of your body language, sit up straight, maintain eye contact and resist the urge to fidget. Slow your speech down and take a pause to think before answering questions.

Many interviewers will give you an opportunity to ask questions towards the end of an interview. You should try to come up with questions resulting from the interview as well as having your own questions prepared for the interviewer that demonstrate your interests in the position and questions that look deeper into the vision and goals of the company. This will be easy to do once have researched the company. If you don’t ask questions, the interviewer may feel as if you weren’t fully engaged in the interview or have not researched the organisation thoroughly, which may result in them thinking you are not the right person for the job.

When leaving the interview, let the interviewer know that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions and thank them for taking the time to interview you

Follow these tips to give you the best chance of getting hired for the job.