How to prep for an interview?
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No question about it, the interview can be the hardest part of getting a job. Prepare well and you can minimise your stress levels on the day, and maximise your chances of success. A win-win strategy!
Here are some tips to get your interview running as smoothly and successfully as possible:
I. Before the interview
→ Know the company
You should aim to find everything you can about the company — you don’t want to look clueless or uninterested come interview day.
Find out who the founder is; check out their website and LinkedIn; search for any recent stories and successes.
Give your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile a look too. It can be really useful to know where they come from, and use that to help you think about some interview questions.
It is also important to find out the specifics of the internship or the job you are applying to. Knowing exactly what you’ll be expected to do will really help you be on the same page as your potential employer.
If you can’t find any of this out via the interwebs/job description, then don’t hesitate to email or call the employer. They won’t bite, and your questions are a great way of showing your proactive attitude and curiosity.
→ Know your application, CV, and strengths
Know what there is inside your CV; know what you want to say about your previous job experience. When they ask about yourself you can then whip out a killer pre-prepped answer.
→ Know the questions
There are few staple interview questions, for example:
- “Why do you want to work for this company?”
- “Why this job in particular?”
- “Why do you think you could be good for the role ?”
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
- “Tell me about yourself for three minutes”
Think about how you would want to answer these, and have an ‘elevator pitch’ ready that describes you -and what you can offer to company- in a short and accessible way.
→ Know what to wear:
First impressions are essential during an interview. Interviewers can come to a conclusion about your working style during the first second of the meeting, even before formal questions have begun!
Wear something that you are comfortable in, nothing too tight, hot or itchy. Your clothes should match the company you are hoping to work for; if you’re applying for a job in a bank, then wear a suit. If it’s a more relaxed environment you can wear smart/casual clothes. Though if you are unsure, go formal.
II. During the interview:
Before anything, you must give a firm friendly handshake to your interviewer. A good handshake shows your confidence and how comfortable you are in the situation.
Your body language during the interview is also very important and can say a lot to the interviewer about your personality.
During the interview, sit straight on your chair and keep your head up. Avoid low-confidence signifiers like crossing your arms or hunching your shoulders.
When you answer to the questions be energetic; it shows genuine interest in the position, which will make you an extremely attractive candidate.
Your answers should be given as naturally as possible. Be prepared, but don’t just recite things from memory!
Be sure to ask questions; if anything comes up during the interview that interests you make a note of it and ask it at the end. It’s always handy to have a few questions prepped before heading in for the interview as well. Questions are an invaluable way of showing your engagement and interest in the role.
At the end of the interview, thank the recruiter for their time and don’t forget to smile. You can follow up with a thank you email too, so that they keep you in mind that little bit longer.
III. After the interview
You should always receive a reply after an interview whether positive or negative. If you haven’t received any news in a while do not hesitate to contact them and politely enquire if a decision has been made.
Fingers crossed that you’re a happy new employee of your chosen employer, and if not then remember that every failure is another opportunity to learn new things. You’ll get there next time!