Today is a positive day. Jenrick has contacted you about a role you recently applied for and you have been invited in for an interview. At this point, several things are running through your mind, and you are aware it’s time to start preparing for your interview, but where do you start?
Step 1 – The Job Specification
Ensure you know the job specification in and out. You are likely to be asked how you fit the role, and your answers must coincide with the job specification. Spend time planning your answers so that your experience and knowledge match what the role entails. The trick is to always be able to back up your answers, when can you give examples within your career of the times you’ve used certain tech, encountered certain challenges, etc… It seems simple but learn your CV; so many people are not aware of their own CV’s.
Step 2 – Research
Spend time researching the company – you must make sure you sound like you are an expert on the company as this shows interest in what they have done, what they are doing and any future goals.
Go along with some pre-prepared intelligent questions. Find a recent news article for example and ask a question around how that relates to the team and how it has changed their workload, technologies or their day-to-day working experience. This shows that you understand the industry and the company. Try to pick something that would be appropriate to the role and team (not just the first article you see!), as it may have no relevance, or in some larger companies, the interviewer may not even be aware of activity in other divisions.
In the interview, it is important to listen carefully to the question asked, as you want to avoid answering the wrong question. To do this, do not be afraid to clarify the question, ask them if your understanding is correct of what they have asked before answering.
Step 3 – A few days before: Ensure you are prepared
As well as having your questions and answered mentally noted, it is just as important to physically be well-prepared for the interview. Have your outfit ready, this means; having your outfit washed and ironed, your shoes clean and any accessories aside and ready to wear. Have your hairstyle in mind, so you don’t have to think about it on the day. Lastly, have your bag/briefcase ready, with a copy of your CV, a notepad, pen and any other items the interviewer may have asked you to bring along. This being said, if you have any habits such as clicking your pen or folding paper, make sure such objects are out of reach during the interview.
It is also important that you have planned your route and considered time for traffic or any delays. Work out the best route for you and note it down on your phone to avoid any rush or panic on the day.
Step 4 – On the day of the interview: Do…
- Eat a healthy breakfast- failing that, just ensure you eat, it will ensure your concentration levels are higher and you will give a better performance
- Be on time (aim to be 15 minutes early)
- Be confident
- Be friendly to everyone – At one interview we had the cleaner turned out to be the CEO!!!!
- Relax, breathe and focus (you’ve got this!)
Step 5 – On the day of the interview: Do not…
Of course, there is a lot that you should do for an interview, but here are some quick pointers of some things you should definitely not do:
- Do not be late (or too early!)
- Do not talk badly about a previous employer
- Do not ask meaningless questions e.g. what are the working hours, how many days holiday am I entitled to. Also, if the interviewer has truthfully answered something you wanted to know it’s better to reconfirm the questions that were important to you rather than to not say anything. In a good interview, they will often have answered most questions
- Do not say “um”, “like” or “I don’t know”
- Do not forget to turn your phone off (or put it on silent)
Step 6 – Leave on a good note
If you are coming to the end of an interview and you like what you have seen/heard, tell the interviewer! Tell the interviewer that you really enjoyed meeting them today and that you would really like the job/to progress to the next stage. It can only be a good thing for the interviewer to know that you are keen.
You will also have the opportunity to ask them if there were any questions, they would like you to elaborate on, you could have the opportunity to re-address a key question that maybe you could have answered better with another attempt.
It seems cheesy but try and enjoy yourself, you could be spending a lot of time within this business so remember you are also interviewing them.