How to prepare yourself for an interview? What to do to impress your future boss.
You’ve taken the time to look at the job specifications and decided to apply. They’ve now contacted you back after looking at your impressive CV and have scheduled an interview with you. If you follow these steps you will always be prepared for an interview either face to face, over the phone or skype.
CHOOSE A NICE AND CLEAN OUTFIT WITH A SHIRT
RIGHT: YES LEFT : NO
Before the interview
Regardless of the type of interview you’re preparing for, research and planning are key. One question that a recruiter will always ask you is why you applied to work for their company. Saying that you need money or that you were bored at home is simply not going to cut it.
Generally, you should:
- Consider how you’ll explain problematic aspects of your career, such as gaps in your work history if you have any.
- Identify the skills, interests and experiences that the organisation is looking for by looking at its website and social media channels. Look at the skillset desired for the job role and match them to your experience and roles. If it is a graduate role match the skillset to what you have learnt on your course.
- Plan your journey in advance, aiming to arrive ten minutes before your interview is scheduled.
- Prepare answers to common interview questions, as well as your own questions to ask at the interview.
- Find out about the people who’ll interview you. If you haven’t had time to do a quick check on LinkedIn, add a few questions about their current career at the organisation.
- Research the issues, trends and opportunities affecting the organisation and the wider industry and how you think your skillset will make the organisation stand out from the rest.
During the interviews
An interview is all about the recruiter and potential manager trying to get a feel and an understanding for you and how you will fit into the company’s style and culture. Winning interview techniques include:
- Positivity – Be well-mannered with any staff you meet before or after the interview. During the interview, avoid talking about any personal problems unless completely necessary (such as clarifying issues in employment gaps), and never badmouth your previous employers.
- Body language – Give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after the session. Once you’re seated, sit naturally without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk. Throughout the interview, remember to smile frequently and retain eye contact.
- Clarity – Give clear and concise answers, waffling will show that you are nervous. Evidence each answer with your most relevant skills, experiences and achievements. It is ok to pause before answering a difficult question to give yourself thinking time, or asking for clarification if, at first, you’re unsure what the question means.
- Enthusiasm – The interview is not just about your skills. It is also about you. It’s important that you allow your personality to shine throughout, as well as ask thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments.
After the interview
When leaving the organisation, let the interviewer know that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions. If you feel things went particularly well, you could email the interviewer the next day, thanking them for their time. In this email perhaps add any extra information that you think the recruiter would like to know such as your availability and chosen working hours (if a shit patterns was advised).
In most cases, the organisation will now have enough evidence to make their decision.
Don’t worry if you don’t get the job. Simply ask the recruiter for feedback, and build upon that to give an even better interview at the next occasion.