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How To Prepare For A Job Interview

22 February 2019
Zara Woodcock
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Got a job interview coming up? Whether this is your first proper job interview or you have endless experience in answering questions, it is always best to do your homework on the potential job being offered.

There will always be the few basic questions usually asked at a job interview, but you never know what else may come up. Have you researched what their latest products are? What questions will they ask that relates to the industry? If not, do not worry. Just follow our guide on how to succeed the interview process with confidence.

1. What You Need To Know Before The Interview

Depending on how many days/weeks you have to prepare, it is best to do all your research in the beginning so you do not panic on the day. Researching the organisation is vital to ensure you can answer their questions.

  • Google their website and look at their ‘About Us’ page, their latest news, and any relevant information to the role
  • Look for their mission statement. This tells you a lot about what they stand for and what they are trying to achieve
  • Assess their client-base, services and products
  • Learn the job description – you can tailor your answers accordingly to what the employer is looking for
  • Create a question list to ask the employer based on what you have researched

Read our guide on how to find a job quickly to find out more.

 

2. How To Prepare For The Interview

This part is extremely useful, and something a lot of people do not give a lot of time to. The only way to feel prepared for an interview is to practice, practice, practice! It may sound odd, but you will be less nervous and more sure of yourself.

  • Have a mock interview with either yourself or, preferably, a friend based on interview questions you have found online.
  • Triple check and write down the exact time, date and location of the interview
  • How are you getting there? Figure out a route that will make sure you are on time
  • Prepare a physical copy of your portfolio and any other required material e.g. Passports, Reference Letters etc.
  • Make sure you have the right outfit

One of the most common interview questions is “Tell me about yourself” and it can be a hard question to answer if you have not prepared. It is a vague questions but you should not go off on a tangent. Any hobbies? Accomplishments? Experiences? There is a lot to answer, so be prepared.

 

3. What Should You Wear To The Interview

The research you have done on the interview should give you an idea on what type of company you are potentially entering. If it is a banking job, it is more likely you should arrive in a formal outfit. However, if it is a bartending or waitressing job, you might need to wear something more casual.

We have put together a guide of what to wear to your interview depending on the type of job.

 

4. What Should You Do On The Day Of The Interview?

Whatever you do, do not be late. With your preparation, you should know the exact time and routes to take. Try and be at least 15-20 early, just in case. Use this time to relax and shake off the nerves. There is no point stressing out right before the interview, as you have already done all the preparation. Stay calm and focused.

One of the most simple things you can do is project confidence. Smile, maintain eye contact, and most importantly, use a firm handshake. Body language changes an alright candidate to a great candidate. However, when it comes to communication, honesty and clarity are great traits. If the interviewer asks you a question you truly do not understand, be honest about it.

 

5. How Do You Follow Up?

After the interview, you will get a chance to ask any questions regarding the position. This is your time. Otherwise, let the interviewer know you are available to answer any more questions. If you feel the interview went well, send the interviewer an e-mail thanking them for their time.

The organisation will, by now, usually have enough to make a decision. In some sectors, you may be required to attend a second interview that involves tests or follow-up questions. The second interview is normally more personal as it is meant to closely scrutinise what you and any remainder candidates can bring to the company. Try and request feedback from the first interview to help with future interviews.

Even if you feel like your interview didn’t go so well, try to stay positive. Your interviewer may have seen through your mistakes and liked your character, and may give you a chance!