Before the Interview
Good interview preparation
How to have a good interview
Good preparation helps you to give a good account of yourself at interview and optimises your chances of convincing the employer that you are the best person available to join their team.
- Your strengths and achievements.
- Your career aspirations.
- Your career to date.
- What you have to offer this particular job and employer.
- How to reassure about shortcomings that exist.
- People you will be meeting and their priorities.
- How the interview will be conducted.
- Work environment and what does it take to fit in and succeed?
- Job responsibilities and transferability of your skills.
- How can the job be developed?
- Draw up a list of questions you may be asked.
- Decide on message(s) you want to deliver within your answers.
- Think through each anticipated question and ponder good answers.
- Build practical examples into answers being developed.
- Keep returning to how you can do the job well.
- Mock interviewing is the most effective way of rounding off preparation but in advance, not at the last minute.
- Practice at home with family or a friend.
- Keep everything formal and don’t break out of role-playing.
- Video or audio-record if possible.
Top 5 job interview tips
1. Do your research
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you've done your homework on things like their last year's profits and latest product launches. Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you can converse with confidence.
2. Practice your answers
Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. You should prepare answers to questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best person for the job.
3. Look the part
Appearances shouldn't matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you've even uttered a word. Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes fit correctly and that your accessories are subtle. Dressing one level above the job you're applying for shows a desire to succeed.
4. Stay calm
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before. Remember to speak clearly, smile and remember that your interviewers are just normal people, and the may be nervous too!
5. Ask questions
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company.