How to prepare for an interview

08 Jan 11:00 by Maria Szmit

You saw the role you wanted to go for, you applied and you check your emails the next morning to realise the hiring manager would like to offer you an interview. As you walk down the stairs with a proud smile on your face, you soon realise your mind is frazzled and has gone blank, how do you prepare?

With these simple bullet points, you’ll be ready to take on that manager with no problem.

Before the interview

Research and planning is key. Try to do as many of these as you can to be well prepared

Take the time to do some research about the company you’re about to have the interview with, there is nothing worse than spending 20 minutes talking about how much you love football in a company promoting the rugby Research your interviewer. No seriously, LinkedIn opens up the possibility for this. Find some common ground which can help you fit in the company culture, just don’t mention how you went to the same Holiday destination as they did 4 years ago Speak to your references, highlighting you’ll be going to an interview so they might receive a call Read the job description again. Then, re-read it. Make sure you know exactly what your tasks will be if you get the position Practise. Think of some questions which they may ask you and come up with a strong structures response. Search engines are your friends here, use them to find the most common questions asked. Alternatively, look at my other post! Be well prepared. By this I mean get your (formal) clothes ready, get a well nights rest, check traffic and plan your route so you arrive 10 minutes early and please try and avoid a lot of alcohol

Checklist

Your CV, so the interviewer can run through your skills Bottle of water (keep hydrated!) Postcode of the organisation so you don’t get lost on your way to the interview Examples of achievements or portfolio. These will help you prove your achievements Pen & notepad. It’s always handy to make notes on key points ID. Not essential but can identify you if you are offered the job

Nerves

The day comes and you are shaking more than a James Bond Martini, but don’t worry, follow some of these tips to help control them.

It’s not a race, speak slowly and clearly whilst taking deep breaths Be a confident individual. Visualise yourself bossing the interview without any problems When approached with a difficult question, have a moment to think and ask for clarification if the question isn’t clear Finally, you’re not alone. We’ve all been through the dreaded interviews, as long as you be yourself, you have the best chance of succeeding

First impressions

It is said that first impressions only take 9 seconds to form, so you need to make them count right? Follow these steps to get off with a flying start

Firstly, stand up straight, introduce yourself and offer a firm handshake. Not too firm though, we want the interviewer to hire you, not despise you Be enthusiastic, it shows confident and makes the interview stand out from the rest Don’t speak about any personal problems, the interview is about your ability to do the role so don’t jeopardising this Display positive body language and be well mannered Don’t badmouth any of your previous employees, this is a sign of betrayal and makes you look worse than the previous company Let your personality show as much as possible, it helps the interviewer decide whether you would be good for the company culture Take notes and inform the interviewer you are open to any follow up questions after the interview Before leaving, thank them and give another firm handshake

You’ll then walk away looking professional and your head held high knowing you’ve just given a great first impression.