So, you’ve sent off your CV for the job of your dreams and you have been offered an interview – great news! But what next?
While there is no fix-all solution to acing a job interview, there are certainly some things you can do in advance to ensure it goes as well as it possibly can.
Like with many things, decent planning is key to success, so look at the following tips on how to prepare for an interview and have every chance of being great on the day.
• Research – this is where you get to display your fabulous knowledge about the company you are applying to. With the internet such a great tool at your disposal, read up on the organisation’s history, what it stands for and maybe even find out about trends in the industry and the company’s competitors.
• Practise – anticipate what sort of questions you might be asked and practise the excellent answers that you will give in response. Practising your interview beforehand may also help calm your nerves on the day.
• Review – take another look at your CV and application form, so you’re fully up on everything that you are saying about yourself. Likewise review the job description and work out where you fit in with some of the qualities they desire.
• Understand – while you’re checking out the job description to spot good qualities about yourself, also take the time to ensure you fully understand the role you are applying for.
• Trouble shoot – anticipate problem areas within your CV such as gaps between jobs and reasons for leaving a place of work and work out some positive answers to why they’re there.
• Catch up with referees – check they’re still happy to give good references for you.
• Prepare questions – it inevitably comes at the end, the bit where the interviewer asks do you have any questions? This is often a good one to answer, so what might you ask? Perhaps it could be something about the job or something about the company. Be interested in the way it works and get a feel for the organisation while you’re there.
• Appearances – choose your outfit well, make sure your hair is tidy and get plenty of sleep the night before. Make sure you have every chance of making that first impression count.
• Plan – maybe do a dry run for the journey to ensure you get there ten minutes early. Check timetables for the transport you’ll be using or work out where you’re going to park.
• Discover – what will the format of the interview be like? Will it be with one person or a board of interviewees? Who will they be? Reduce the risk of any unexpected surprises shattering your confidence on the day.
Job interviews can often be quite nerve wracking experiences, where you might come away worrying that you haven’t put yourself in the best possible light, or given the interviewer a real idea of the extent of your capabilities.
The key to minimising the chance of this is to give yourself as much time as you can to prepare well for the interview. Then afterwards write down any areas which you felt could be improved on, so you can do better if there is a next time.
And best of luck!