Taking time to prepare for your next job interview can help you go a long way. Preparation will help calm the nerves and give you a great base of information to use during the interview. You can never be too prepared or organised when it comes to an interview, but there is so much more to think about than what questions they might ask you too. The more you prepare the more you will learn about the business that you have applied for. If you are successful in your interview, then having gained that insight means you will likely get the hang of the role quicker.
Here are 6 tips to help you in shine in your next interview:
1 Company information
Find out as much as you can about the company. Read their corporate site. Check their social media and recent news stories. Try and understand their business – what are some of their strengths? What challenges might they have. You won’t understand it all until you are in there, but the more you can find out, the more you can impress in an interview. Furthermore, it means you will know more about the company once you start. Don’t be surprised if they ask you a company related question, so be prepared to talk about what drew you to apply to their company, and why you would want to work for them.
2 Mission statement, values, and goals.
Find their mission statement, values, and goals information. These should give you a good insight into the business and the culture. Try and weave your knowledge of their mission into your discussions, as they will appreciate that you have done your research. Do these statements align with you? Is their mission something that inspires you too? If so, make sure you tell them in the interview.
3 Who are you meeting with?
Research who you are meeting with. If the first interview is with more than one person, find out as much as you can about the other interviewers and what they do for the business. A simple Google search or research them on LinkedIn should give you plenty of information.
Be prepared for the interviewers to research you too! It only takes someone a few seconds to google you and check out any online profiles, so it is important you know what information there is online about yourself. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile which mirrors your CV.
4 Practice questions
Have a think about what questions they might ask you. If you are in a specific industry, expect some industry-based questions.
Here are some of my favourite questions you could practise answering. They may not be exactly what they ask, but they will give you an idea of some of the topics that might be discussed.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- What do you want to work here?
- Tell me about a time you showed leadership.
- Tell me about a time you were successful on a team.
- Tell me about something you have accomplished that you are proud of.
- Tell me about a time you had to manage conflicting priorities.
- Describe your most challenging project.
- What would your co-workers say about you?
- Why do you want to leave your current role?
- Can you explain your employment gap?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Have a think about what experiences you would like the interviewer to know about you. Since an interview is an opportunity to sell yourself, make sure to have a think about the times that you have shone in a good light. Also ensure you think about the lessons you have learned throughout your professional career. Go into the interview with at least 5 examples of specific projects or experiences that you can talk about.
5 Questions to ask
Plan some questions you want to ask. They should offer you some time to ask some questions at the end and having some planned will allow you to show off your research and your interest. If there is anything unclear about the role or something niggling at you, it is good to seek clarity before you continue too far down the interview path.
Ask about the interview process if they don’t provide an overview of the process. This will ensure you know what you are getting yourself into and gives you an idea about timelines and what to expect. There could be a second interview and maybe even some other steps like a presentation, or a psychometric test.
6 Prepare for the day
Organise what you are going to wear for the interview. Make sure everything fits, is clean, and ready to go for the day. Dress up. First impressions do count, so make sure you put your best foot forward by looking your best, and therefore feeling your best.
If you plan on wearing nice shoes for the interview, take some flat shoes for travelling to and from the office. You don’t want to be limping into the interview after getting a blister on route. The whole package of you matters in an interview.
Check your route to the interview. Know how to get there and how long it will take. If you are driving have a plan for parking and paying. Be there on time, if not early. You don’t want to walk into an interview in a fluster with a sweat! If you are early, look over your notes and questions. Look around at any corporate information that is on display. Take a moment and breathe.
If the interview is online, as is being more common these days, then ensure your computer and technology is ready to go. Have key contact numbers on hand just in case technology fails. Log in with plenty of time, and ensure your camera and sound is set to make you look as good possible. Again, you are making an impression so have a think about the background, and what that might say about you. Try not to look the view of yourself once the interview starts. Speak at the camera and smile as much you can as they can’t read your body language online.
There is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance to impress in an interview. Even if you are doing a few interviews, prepare in the same way for each one, as each is a new opportunity to shine. You can never prepare too much for an interview, as it might just be the door opening to a fantastic new opportunity for you.