Preparing for your interview – Top tips!
Congratulations, you’ve bagged yourself an interview! You’ve perfected your CV, aced your job search and now it’s time to get yourself in front of your potential future employer and show them why they need you on their team. Now we get that interviews can be scary and it’s completely normal to feel nervous or even downright panicked; but worry not, we are here to help!
Preparation and planning – Research and Questions
The key to interview success is preparation. We know this can sound a little bit clichéd but if you aren’t prepared for your interview, it’s highly likely that you’ll be panicked and flustered which probably won’t give the greatest impression and probably won’t bag you the job! So what do you need to prepare and plan for?
First things first, do your research on the company! Visit their website, have a look at what they do and maybe even take a look at their LinkedIn profile to see who it is you’ll be meeting with if putting a face to the name makes you feel a little more at ease!
Researching the company is a very important part of preparing for any job interview; it is more than likely that your interviewer will ask what you know about the company and why you want to work for them, so don’t be caught out at the first hurdle! The more the more you know about them, the better it looks; it shows your interest as well as the fact that you’re super organised!
Another way to impress your interviewer with your preparation skills is to think about your answers to some common interview questions. A lot of companies will ask some pretty standard questions such as “What is your biggest weakness?”, others will ask things such as describe what kind of biscuit you would be (no really, we have heard this on more than one occasion!) so you don’t want to be caught out by unusual, and sometimes tricky questions like these so have some answers prepared. A top tip for answering tricky interview questions is to always try to put a positive spin on your answers. For example, if you have to mention your biggest weakness, be sure to describe how you have overcome this weakness in the past and how you have grown from it. Another big tip is to look at the job description of the role you’re being interviewed for, this is your golden ticket to finding out what it is the interviewer is looking for and is a good indicator of how you can tailor your answers to meet their criteria. If they’re looking for a forward-thinking, driven individual then make sure you give examples of how you fit those characteristics (but only if it’s true of course, lying in your interview is a big no-no, as is bad-mouthing your past employer; just don’t do it okay?!).
Whilst on the subject of interview questions, it is worth noting that an interview is not a one-way street. Whilst the interviewer wants to know if you’re a good fit for their company, you also need to know if the company is a good fit for you. Your interviewer will probably ask if you have any questions for them at the end of your interview; this is your chance to ask any lurking questions you may have about the company or the role, so use it! Having some well thought out questions, such as “How will my progress be monitored?” will really impress the interviewer, rather than you just staring blankly at them and darting for the door! Questions for your interviewer, again, really show your interest and enthusiasm for the role, and who doesn’t want to employ someone like that?! Be aware though that there are some questions to avoid asking such as “Will I get sick pay?” for the obvious reasons!
Preparation and planning – Everything else!
Now the actual face-to-face part of the interview isn’t the only thing you need to prepare for. Making sure you know exactly where your interview is, how to get there and how long it’s going to take to get there are other really important parts of your interview preparation (you don’t want to be rushing or turning up late!). If possible, we recommend having a trial run of getting to the company in question at a similar time of day to your interview so you can accommodate for any traffic delays for example. Top tip: arriving around 15 minutes early to your interview shows that you are eager and organised and also gives you time to settle in before you interview, rather than running through the door at the last minute!
With first impressions in mind, always plan and prepare your outfit in plenty of time to ensure you look polished and professional. When it comes to interviews, it’s always worth thinking that you look overdressed, rather than underdressed. Your recruitment consultant (provided that an agency is helping you with your job search that is) would be the best point of call for any wardrobe related queries so give them a call and they will be happy to assist! But as a general rule: if in doubt, get your suit out!
You should also be aware of your body language; firstly, it is important to be warm and friendly to everyone you come across when you arrive to your interview (you don’t know who you may be bumping into!), but also remember to think about the following: give a good handshake, make eye contact, don’t slouch, fold your arms, yawn or roll your eyes (again, for obvious reasons!).
Some final points to consider are not essential but are still something worth mentioning. Take a copy of your CV; if your mind goes a little blank mid-interview when discussing your experience for example, it’s always nice to have something to jog your memory! You may also want to take along any relevant qualifications or certificates and maybe even a trusty bottle of water, you don’t want to be caught out in a coughing fit mid-interview (this may sound a little over-prepared but being organised never hurt anyone!).
If for any reason you’re not successful for the role at interview stage, remember that every interview adds to your experience and there is always something to take away from it and learn from, so never be too disheartened by it! There are plenty of other roles out there and your local recruitment agency will be more than happy to help find a role that’s just right for you!
Contact TurnerFox Recruitment on 01623 656303 or email us at email@example.com for more info on how we can help find your next role!
By Holly Brailsford