Interviews can be really daunting and bring out all kinds of emotion – fear, excitement, worry to name a few. But the worst mistake you can make before you go for an interview is failing to prepare. If you keep on track with our handy checklist below, you can’t go far wrong!
What type of interview will you be having?
There are several types of interview – telephone, video, face-to-face, panel, presentation, group or assessment centres. Find out beforehand from the recruiter what format will be used for your interview and if you need to take anything with you or prepare anything in advance.
Research your interviewer
Find out as much as you can about the company who are going to be interviewing you. Check their website and social media updates for company news, new members of staff or other handy bits of information you could throw into the interview to let them know you’ve done your homework.
Read the job description inside out
You need to fully understand the role that you are applying for and identify what skills, interests and experiences the employer is looking for. Make a list of questions that you might want to ask the interviewer as this makes you look really keen and motivated.
Plan your answers accordingly
Try to anticipate potential questions and the kind of answers you would provide. Many interviewers now use competency based questions in an interview, which are structured to reflect the role of the job. An example of a competency based question would be “Give me an example of a time you worked as a team to achieve a common goal?” You really need to think outside the box and try to relate working life experiences to the questions.
What to take with you on the day
Firstly, make sure you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take you to get there – a dummy run might be a good idea and don’t forget to find out if they have parking available. On the day you need to make sure you take a bottle of water, some mints, a pad and pen, a copy of your CV, the job description, anything you have been asked to prepare in advance and examples of your work or past successes.
Preparing for the big day
Make sure you get a decent night’s sleep the night before and plan exactly what you are going to wear so that you look professional. Try to get to the interview 10 minutes early so that you have chance to mentally prepare yourself before you walk into the interview room.
How to make a good impression
This is your big chance to sell yourself and land that dream job. Make sure you answer questions clearly and concisely and be as enthusiastic as possible throughout. Remember to be well mannered, smile and retain eye contact. Sit upright and try to relax so you don’t come across as too nervous. Ask relevant questions and highlight your best attributes, experiences and achievements.