Interview Preparation – The First Step!

interview-prep-picPreparation…

  • Put yourself ahead of the rest and research thoroughly prior to your interview.
  • Run through the Job Description and familiarise yourself with as many duties as possible.
  • Pay attention to any Person Specifications and note what the company are looking for in a person.
  • Look at the company website (provided by your consultant) and research what the company do.
  • Where is the interview being held? Wherever possible do a test run so you know exactly where you are going on the day.
  • What will be the format of the interview? Will there be tests? How long is it expected to last? Who will be interviewing you?
  • Find out about the company – how many people work there? Are there any other branches? How long have they been in business?

First impressions count…

An interviewer will tend to make up their mind during the first couple of minutes – therefore first impressions are vital! Here are some things to remember:

  • BE ON TIME! If possible try to arrive at least 5 minutes early to show you are keen and punctual.
  • Keep eye contact, walk tall and smile!
  • Don’t sit down until you are invited to do so.
  • Try to stay alert. Don’t slouch and get too comfortable – even if it’s a long interview!
  • Always shake hands with the interviewer at the beginning and end of the interview and thank them for their time.

Look the part…

Remember there is no point saying the right things if you do not look the part – they will not take you seriously. Things to remember are:

  • Do not wear too much jewellery – remove any piercings that may be taken as offensive.
  • Make sure clothes are clean and freshly ironed.
  • Ideally wear a suit (or smart skirt / trousers and jacket).

Question time……

Most interviewers will ask the same sort of questions so it is easy to be prepared. Think of answers to some of the questions you may be asked, you will feel more relaxed on the day. However, always remember:

  • Think before answering each question – even if you know exactly what you are going to say!
  • If there is more than 1 person there – try to direct your answer to all of them.
  • Try to avoid umms and aahhs! It will come across as being unprepared.

Typical questions……

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  • Why should we employ you?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • Why are you looking to leave your current position?
  • What did / didn’t you enjoy in your last position?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What qualities can you bring to this role / company?

Remember……

Some interviewers have questions that are designed to throw you off balance to test your ability to cope under pressure, try to remain calm and do not feel pressurised – if you cannot think of a suitable answer, ask if you can return to the question later. Your reaction is more likely what they will be assessing.

Challenging questions to prepare for……

  • In what specific ways will our company benefit from you?
  • What specifically interests you about our company?
  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What would you like to change about yourself? (personality)
  • What mistakes have you learnt from and why?
  • Give an example of how you dealt with a problem?

Questions for you to ask……

At the end of every interview, you will generally be asked if you have any questions. It will show you are prepared if you have some written down. Mention even if the interviewer has answered your question previously as it will show you had thought of the question! Good examples to ask are:

  • How did this position arise?
  • How many people are in the team?
  • Can you describe a typical day in the role?
  • Would training be provided?
  • Do you have regular performance reviews?
  • Do you have any doubts about my ability to do the job?
  • How many people are you interviewing for this position?
  • What is the next stage? (2nd interview, offer, etc)

Interview preparation summary……

Do

  • Be prepared
  • Remember first impressions count
  • Smile and walk tall
  • Look interested and alert at all times
  • Think before you speak

Don’t

  • Turn up in unclean, un-pressed clothes / shoes
  • Sit with arms folded or with hands in pockets
  • Fidget and act disinterested
  • Slouch and lean back in your chair
  • Look at the floor or anywhere other than the interviewer

Good Luck!