How to Prepare for a Job Interview

How to prepare for a job interview

Table of Contents

You’ve made it to the interview stage—congratulations! It’s a significant milestone, but you may also feel anxious or uncertain. Don’t worry; our guide is here to show you how to prepare for a successful job interview.

Just follow these tips, and we are sure you will ace the interview.

Knowledge is Power

Do your research on the company you’re meeting with in preparation for your interview. Learn about the company’s mission, its values, and what culture they adopt. Knowing your potential employer not only helps you tailor your answers to questions they ask but shows them that you’re genuinely interested. Going into an interview with little to no knowledge about the company will suggest to them that you’re not taking this role seriously and they will favour other candidates over you who have done their preparation.

Here are a few things you should read over to prepare yourself:

  • Read their website thoroughly, especially the ‘About us’ or ‘Our Mission’ page
  • Look over their social media to see any recent updates and achievements. This will also give you a great understanding of the company’s culture.
  • Search review sites such as GlassDoor. Looking over reviews from past and present employees will give you an idea of what it is like to be part of the team.
  • Research on LinkedIn the people who are participating in the interview.

Remember to take notes, this will help you ask questions at the end of your interview that demonstrate a genuine interest.

Read Over the Job Description

It might have been a few weeks since you read the initial job description, so you should read over it again before your interview. To show that you are the right candidate for the role, you should make a list of the skills and experience that it is asking for and show how they match with yours. Make sure to note down examples or metrics that prove these skills, ready to talk about this in the interview.

You should also look closely at the adjectives that the job description uses. Make sure to use these adjectives, or their synonyms in your answers when being interviewed. This will make you stand out and show that you have a really good understanding of the role, and who their ideal candidate is.

Know your CV Inside Out

After reading over the job description to see what they are looking for in a candidate, review your CV to see how it matches. Be prepared to elaborate on the qualifications that you have written down. You will be asked to explain how your professional experiences and background align with the job description, so it’s best to have a few answers prepared.

Having a read-through of your CV can also help you establish the career path that you want to go down, and if the company you’ve been invited to interview with fits in with not only your professional goals but your personal goals too.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

You should always rehearse your interview, especially if you struggle with pre-interview nerves. Ask a friend or family member to help you answer the common interview questions that you may face.

Thinking through these questions and preparing an answer will help your interview flow easily. It minimises the chance of struggling with an answer, helping you to present yourself positively and accurately.

Common interview questions to prepare for are:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Tell me about a challenge you overcame.
  • What do you know about our company?

You should aim to come up with 50 – 100-word answers, it will increase your odds of doing well and will impress your potential employer.

Prepare to Ask Questions

The interviewer will usually ask at the end of the interview if you have any questions, so it’s good to be prepared with the right ones. Asking relevant questions shows you are eager to learn.

Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • What does a typical day in this position look like?
  • If I was to be successful, what project would I be required to work on first?
  • What metrics or KPIs would help measure the success of the role?
  • Are there any specific projects or goals that the company is currently focused on?

Of course, with the good comes the bad and there are some questions which you might think to ask that are a no-go.

Here are some examples of questions not to ask at an interview:

  • What does the company do?
  • Do you have any positions other than this one?
  • What will my salary be?
  • Are the hours long?
  • What’s the worst thing about working here?

You should avoid these types of questions, it shows that you are not serious about the role.

On top of the questions not to ask at an interview, most employers agree that ‘No, I don’t have any questions’ is the worst possible response. Make sure you do your due diligence and come prepared with a bank of questions. This is what’s going to make you stand out from the other candidates.

Dress for Success

Pick out your outfit in advance. You don’t want the added stress of finding something suitable to wear the morning of your interview. Consider the role you’re applying for, and the company culture to see how best to dress.

Looking good also boosts your confidence, which can help you make a great impression when sitting across from the interviewer. It shows that you have respect for yourself, the employer and the interview.

Still unsure about what to wear? There are a few things which you can do to eliminate any possibility of the dreaded wardrobe malfunction:

  • Ask friends and family for their opinions.
  • Ask retail staff, they can help you pick out outfits to buy if you are thinking about getting something new
  • Social media is king! Social media platforms such as TikTok & Instagram are great tools for searching for what to wear at an interview.

Be On Time

It seems like an obvious one, but this is important. It’s one of the few things about the interview that you have control over. Plan your route and leave yourself plenty of time to make it. You should be planning on getting there early, especially if it’s an in-person interview. This way, you can relax knowing you’re there and go over any last-minute preparation whilst you wait.

If it’s a remote interview, make sure your computer is on with the video call software loaded before your interview. Test your sound and microphone so that you can jump straight into the call. Check that there is enough power in your computer and that you are against a plain background. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, even if it feels weird being sat at home, you still need to make a good impression.

It’s Interview Time

Well done, you’ve done your research and it’s time to interview! You look great, you’re early and you know exactly what you want to say. You might still be nervous, and that’s normal. Whilst you still have time before the interview, relax your body and take some deep breaths.

Bonus tip: If the business has a reception, make sure you are warm and welcoming to the team members at the desk. Employers often ask the receptionist or secretary what their first impressions were of the candidate.

During your interview, make sure to smile and be confident in your body language. Take your time with answering the questions and try to enjoy it. Make sure to let your personality shine through your answers and be open and honest with the interviewer.

Good luck with your interview! We hope these tips have given you a bit more confidence ahead of the big day and we hope you land the role of your dreams.

If you’re still looking for the perfect role, head over to our vacancies page here.

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