How to prepare for an interview

When it comes to an interview, you can never be too prepared…

Whether you’re new to job hunting, or you’re a well-practiced interviewee – thorough research and effective preparation is absolutely essential to guarantee interview success. Attempting to ‘wing it’ will only ever end badly (and/or in awkward silences).

We’ve already covered telephone interview dos and don’ts and video interview tips, but if you’re invited to a face-to-face interview – here are our top tips on how to prepare:

Getting started

First things first, you need to know what to prepare for. Aside from giving you an insight into the role and organisation, good interview preparation will also give you some all-important confidence. Let’s face it, no-one likes surprises. But what specific preparation should you carry out? Here are a few key things to cover:

  1. Research the company
  2. Look up your role
  3. Find the address
  4. Pick an outfit
  5. Think of some potential questions your interviewer may ask
  6. Prepare some potential questions you could ask at the end of the interview

The week before the interview

Research the company

Interviewers expect candidates to have a good grasp of what their organisation does – meaning your ability to research effectively is essential.

Consider aspects like: how big the company is, how it’s divided up, who their customers are, and who their main competitors are – as well as any recent developments or plans within the company.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to add value to the conversation, whilst showing a genuine interest in what they do.

Read the job description

When it comes to interview preparation, the job description is your best friend. Not only will a thorough examination of the duties and required personal qualities help you to understand more about what the role entails – it’ll also help you to recognize exactly what the employer is looking for. Then, you can tailor your answers accordingly – coming up with tangible examples that prove you’re the best candidate for the role.

Figure out the format

Interviews can take a number of forms – from one-on-one and group interviews, to position-specific tests, role plays, and psychometric questionnaires. And each one will require a different type of preparation.

Often, this will be explained when you’re invited to the interview, but there’s no harm in asking for more information if needed. Researching online to find out how the process has worked for other people in your situation will also help you to figure out what to expect.

Finding out who your interviewer(s) will be and researching their roles within the organisation will additionally help to reduce surprises on the big day. You can look these up on the company website, or try finding them on LinkedIn. ” read more