Preparing for job interviews can be stressful. You have to work out what to wear, what to take with you, and how to not seem terrified once you arrive. We’ve all been there!
Here are some tips to keep you on track as you get ready to ace that interview.
Before the interview
Do your research
It’s very important that you research the organisation.
Visit their website to:
- understand who they are and what they do
- review their history
- assess their products, services or client base
- read recent articles or press releases for insights into how they’re positioned in their industry.
As you research, develop a list of questions that you can ask in your interview – they’ll be impressed that you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out all about their business.
Don’t go empty-handed
It’s always a good idea to take with you:
- at least two copies of your resume. Chances are your interviewer will already have seen it, but they may not have read the whole thing, and you could also be interviewing with someone else in the company.
- copies of any work examples, certifications or qualifications that you think might be beneficial.
Look the part
You don’t want to show up overdressed or underdressed. If you’re speaking to a recruiter, ask about the company’s dress code and choose your outfit accordingly.
If there’s no one you can ask, gauge what’s appropriate from your research on the company.
Plan the practicalities
Map out your route to the location to arrive at least 10 or 15 minutes early, and consider a practice run to avoid being late. Taking public transport? Pre-plan an alternative route in case there are any delays.
Pro tip: when you arrive early, use the extra time to observe workplace dynamics.
During the interview
It’s important to come across as someone they’ll like working with, so present yourself with confidence. Your energy should be focused on building a rapport with your interviewer, not just impressing them with your skills.
Remember your body language
Remember what you were told at school: sit up straight and don’t fidget! And keep eye contact – it shows the interviewer that you’re focused and interested in the job.
It’s easy for nerves to get the better of you but take a deep breath and try your best to take it easy. Focus on listening and answering the questions as well as possible. Interviewers don’t want you to feel nervous, and so they might even help break the ice.
After the interview
Know the next step
Before you leave the interview:
- confirm what happens next in the recruitment process – whether there is another round of interviews, and when you can expect to hear from them again
- make sure you get the contact details of your interviewer if you don’t already have them.
Whether you get this job or not, you should be able to learn something from this interview. What do you feel you could have done better? The goal is to identify weak spots in your interviewing skills so you can improve next time.
Sending an email to your interviewer to thank them for their time will leave a good impression. Don’t wait – do it within 24 hours of your interview. This could also be a good time to ask for some feedback.