Let’s face it, interviews are not a natural environment for most people. Often many professionals can count the number of interviews that they have had over the years on one hand, usually with considerable time gaps in between.
With the world that we live in constantly changing and technology more frequently being utilised during the interview process it can often feel unnerving to even the most experienced professional. In order to help calm some of those nerves, and help you present your best self at an interview, we have compiled a few hints and tips on how best to prepare for an interview.
- Read the job description – This might seem obvious but make sure you read the job description prior to the interview, this will give you an insight into the areas they are likely to ask questions around. Additionally it is worth printing off a copy to take along with you, sometimes there are revisions made that are never passed on so at least you will be able to show the copy that you have prepared to. This also demonstrates that you have done some pre interview prep work.
- Know where you are going – There is nothing worse than running late for an interview or turning up at the wrong office. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get there, best case scenario is you get to the interview really early which allows you some time to compose yourself, have one last read through your notes and get ready for a knockout performance. If possible try to do the journey the day before to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and identify any potential holdups.
- LinkedIn Research – LinkedIn is a great source of information for both the business that you’re interviewing with and the people conducting the interview. Here you should be looking to find out the latest news on the business, the background of the interviewers, who else works at the organisation and if you have any connections already there. This can provide you with some good talking points along with forming the basis of your questions for the interviewers.
- Ask questions – A good interview should be a two way conversation. It’s important to remember it’s not just down to you to impress the new employer, this is your opportunity to make sure that the role, culture and environment align with your own goals and values. It’s a good idea to take along a note pad and pen with some questions from your research written down so you don’t need to worry about remembering them. It may be an idea to take notes during the interview so that you can ask for more detail on areas that are of interest to you.
- Trust your gut – If you get out of an interview and despite it seeming like the perfect role with the perfect company – it just didn’t feel right, it probably isn’t the right role for you. So much of our work life is about the people we are with, rather than what we are doing. So if you feel like the culture or personality fit just isn’t quite there, then don’t force yourself, it’s easier now to carry on searching for the right fit rather than enduring a role that just isn’t quite right.
Hopefully this has provided some useful tips on how to prepare for an interview. Overall the most important thing to remember is; be yourself, if you are successful in securing the position, people will see the real you soon enough so best to start from there.