How to prepare for a job interview

It’s no secret that job interviews can be daunting. From reading the job description to choosing an appropriate outfit, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to preparing for an interview – but knowing just how to prepare yourself in the right way doesn’t come easy to many. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the essential steps to take before attending an interview.

Do your research

If you’ve got to the interview stage, that’s a clear indicator that the employer has liked what they’ve seen – whether that’s your CV or application form. Whilst it’s great to have a high-quality CV, it’s equally as important to ensure you’re well informed of the company – from the people who’ll be interviewing you, to the main objectives of the business. Having good knowledge of the company will not only put your mind at rest, but it’ll also stand you in good stead for answering questions related to the role. So, spend some time going through the website and any material they may have provided you with and take note of key aspects of the business.

Note down your key qualities

Take some time to read through the job description, and note down the desirable qualities that the employer has listed. Create a separate list with your main qualities, and compare them. Do any of your qualities match those of the ideal candidate? Note down all of the matched qualities that you find and come up with some work-based examples that demonstrate this. This is a great way to prepare for problem-solving related interview questions.

Put it into practise

Ask a friend to help you conduct role-play before the interview, in which they play the interviewer. This will help you practise your attitude and demeanour. Ensure that your friend asks some typical interview questions, and prepare some answers for these – this will help relieve some of the pressure during the real one.

Similarly, research and collect some typical interview questions and pull together some answers for each one. You can then read back and revise these beforehand. Don’t worry about remembering each one word-for-word, as you may not be asked these questions – just have a few key phrases ready to impart if you’re asked a similar question.

Organisation

It’s extremely important to organise yourself as well as you can before the interview. Ensure that you have a printed copy of your CV and/or application form to hand, just in case you need it for reference. Additionally, it’s a good idea (if this isn’t already required of you) to create a portfolio of relevant work you’ve previously conducted. Print out some of your favourite pieces and place them in a visual folder, so they are easily accessible to the employer. This will allow you to show visual evidence of your skills and abilities.

Be sure to bring along a pen and notepad in case you need to take down any notes, and don’t forget to pack a photo ID, as this is often needed.

It’s also a great idea to show some curiosity about the role and the business during the interview; so, if you can, prepare some questions that you’d like to ask the employer.

Know your directions

There’s nothing like the sense of panic that emerges when you can’t find your way to an interview. That’s why it’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with the journey before the day of the interview – and if you drive, try driving there once or twice beforehand.

Interviews can be a daunting process, but just keep in mind that the employer is simply looking for someone great to fill their vacancy – so try to be the best version of yourself. If you organise and prepare yourself well, then you stand a much higher chance of success.

If you’d like to find out how you can prepare for your interview in more detail, contact one of our HR advisers here.

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