Job Interview Preparation Tips
Fail to plan, plan to fail. The interview process is rarely the same from one employer to the next, so planning and preparation is absolutely crucial.
How to make the most of your interview
- Be informed
- Do your research
- Preparation, planning and punctuality
- Their questions
- Your questions
Before each interview, review your CV and any application forms you may have completed.
The interviewer will expect you to be familiar with both, and you’ll need to show that you’ve addressed the key requirements of the role.
Prepare real-life work and life experiences to showcase your skills and experience to demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re right for the job.
Competency Based Interviewing is becoming widely used and therefore apply the basics and ensure you qualify your comments in order to backup any statements you make about your competency.
Candidates are asked questions that require them to demonstrate their behaviour and/or skills in specific circumstances with examples.
Prepare examples using the STAR technique:
- Explain the Situation you faced
- Or explain the Task you were given
- Say what Action you took
- Finish with the Result
Find out as much information about the company and the role as possible. Spend time on the company’s website and any of its social networks to get a feel for its products or services, structure, projects, and values.
Understanding what the interviewer wants is key to interview success, and there’s no substitute for preparation.
- Know the names and titles of who you’ll be meeting
- Plan your route to the interview and be on time
- Have their contact details to hand in case unavoidable delays occur
- Arrive in good time
- Dress the part in accordance with the specific company culture
Be prepared with answers for questions you think they may ask. For instance:
- Why do you want to work for us and why do you want this position?
- What do you know about the company?
- What are your strengths?
- What do you like/dislike about your current job role?
- Why are you looking for a new position?
- What has been your greatest achievement to date?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your aspirations for the future?
- What can you offer your new company?
- Focus on your achievements when responding, and remember to remain positive
You’ll need to show a genuine interest in the role and the company, so be prepared with thoughtful and perceptive questions.
This is also a chance for you to ask questions to gauge whether the opportunity is right for you. Take into account any information already provided during the interview and prepare back-up questions in case some of them have already been covered.
You could ask:
- What are the future plans for the company?
- What investment in training and/or development can I expect in this position?
- How would you describe the culture and environment of the organisation?
Finally, ask what the follow-up procedure is following the interview, and when you can expect to hear from them. Let the interviewer know if you are interested in the position, and of course, thank them for their time.
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