So, you finally receive an email back from your dream company asking you to attend an interview following your initial job application. Your excitement and anticipation begins to build, and you start to think “How can I best prepare?”
Do your research
A good place to start is by gathering as much information as you can about the company. The easiest places to begin with are looking at their website, company social media pages, Wikipedia, or signing up to the company newsletter. There is a good probability that your interviewer will want to gauge your understanding of the company in order to assess your suitability for the role, so you’ll stand out from the competition if you can impress them by having a good understanding of their products / services, latest news, names of key personnel in the company and company values.
Know your CV like the back of your hand
During the interview, there is a good chance that your interviewer will ask questions relating back to certain things you have written on your CV. If you have to then scan through your CV to see what section they are talking about, it could be perceived as ‘uncertainty’. People generally find conviction and congruence admirable, so make sure you know your CV like the back of your hand before walking through the door. Be clear on what you have written and make sure you are able to expand on any of the experiences or qualifications you have mentioned.
Brainstorm the kind of questions you’re likely to be asked on the interview. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes, and ask yourself “What information would i need to know to be certain a candidate is suitable for this job?” You may be asked questions aimed at discovering:
- Your skills and strengths
- Your knowledge of the industry
- Your knowledge on the day to day tasks of the job and whether they would be suited to your skill set / goals.
- Previous jobs / life experiences
Make sure you are comfortable on answering all sorts of potential questions relating to these areas before you enter the interview room.
Look the part
First impressions count. Even though your personality and skill set really may be the most important element in allowing you to getting the job done, when meeting someone for the first time it is human nature to try and gauge what someone is like by the way they present themselves.
It would be a huge shame if you were perfect for the job, but your image let you down during the interview and prevented you from really proving your skills to the potential employer.
There are a few ways to make sure you make a great first impression:
- Look online at industry trends, or company websites to see if there are any ‘in office’ photo’s that may give away the kind of attire employers wear.
- If in doubt, default to wearing smart and professional clothing whilst always making sure that whatever you wear looks clean and new, and also comfortable for you to be in.
Be well prepared
More and more, employers are turning to social media to ‘suss out’ prospective employers before they hire. Do you think it would be beneficial for a potential employee to see drunken photo’s taken last weekend of you dancing on the tables at 2am in the morning at your local... probably not? Be sure to have a quick clean out of private / personal pictures and posts on social media. It’s really simple to quickly change the privacy settings on your social media accounts allowing you to hide personal content from potential snoopers on your accounts.
Also, make sure you know the journey you have to take to get to your interview clearly allowing plenty of time to spare. Take into consideration potential traffic jams, or late public transportation. You could even do a ‘test run’ of the journey before the actual day.
It’s also a good idea to prepare some questions of your own to ask your interviewer. This can show initiative and assertiveness on your part which are attributes employers love. Are there any things YOU would like to know about the company or job role to help you decide if the job is right for you?
Relax and enjoy the process
It’s too easy to get really worked up over changing or starting a new job. The thing is, the more you get worked up, the harder it is to actually shine in the interview. So make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before, and a good nutritious meal to make sure your running at 100%.
Above all, enjoy the process. Starting a new job can be one of the most exciting things in the world!