Know your CV
One of the most basic steps that is usually overlooked, is that your CV will likely be present at the interview and your interviewer will be asking you about your employment history. It is vital that you memorise your CV (or as much of it as you can), things like work history, the dates of employment and any figures or achievements you have quoted will no doubt be talking points for the interviewer. If you can confidently recite this information, it helps build confidence in you as a person.
Research the company
When interviewing usually one of the first questions asked is “What do you know about us?”. By having an answer to this question, you show that you are interested in the business and have taken the time to do some research. You can even open up the conversation by asking questions on some of the research you have done. Things to consider when researching a business could be:
- Any news articles or blogs they have published recently (online or paper based)
- Any awards or achievements they have been recognised for
- How the business is performing in the market or against competitors
- Any charity work they are involved in
- Who the key managers are in the business
- Any performance figures of the business
- What products or services they offer
Dress for the occasion
There is no such thing as being overdressed for an interview (although we wouldn’t recommend wearing a tuxedo!) Dress smart, presentable and ensure you have good hygiene. Employers will expect that candidates come to them dressed smartly and if you are the only candidate in the mix wearing shorts and flip-flops, the chances are you won’t be successful!
Plan your route and be punctual
Be prepared well in advance, look at how you will get to the interview and what alternatives routes are available should you run into traffic. Some people like to have a practice run beforehand but if you can’t do this, take a look on Google maps to see what the best route is. By doing this you can arrive for your interview as planned, ideally 10-15 minutes early.
Prepare your answers
While we don’t have a crystal ball to consult before an interview, we can plan ahead and think about what questions are likely to be asked, aside from the basics. A good place to start is by reading the job description again and highlighting any key points that define the role and responsibilities. Think about your previous roles and what skills and experience you have that links into the requirements of your potential new role.
Try to prepare examples of specific situations you have dealt with before, what you did to tackle the problem or situation and the result of your actions, you can even add in what you would do differently next time showing that you learn from experiences and have the capacity to develop and grow.
Other questions could include:
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What makes you different to the other applicants?
- What interests you in this job?
- Where do you want to be in five years’ time?