Careers Advice

How to prepare for an interview.

So, you got the interview – awesome. Now for the interview stage, and just as with your CV writing you need to give this plenty of time, thought and critically, preparation. Use these simple steps to make sure you are ready to smash that interview and show that potential employer that they just cannot manage without you!

  1. Use your excellent online research (stalking) skills to find out about the business. Make sure you know a bit about the company, recent events or news items that mention them. Research the company’s place in the market and get familiar with their values. By showing that you are interested in the bigger picture you can’t fail to show the employer that you’re someone who is committed to doing things thoroughly.
  2. Have you been to the pub/bar/restaurant/hotel as a customer? Think secret shopper, take a friend and make sure that you are inconspicuous, now is not the time to complain/have a Jaegerbomb competition/show off your tabletop dancing skills. By taking the time to do this, you’ll get some ideas about what you can bring to the job – not by criticising everything and everyone you saw but what you can add to the mix. A pair of fresh eyes with new ideas will always be welcome.
  3. Go through common interview questions [link], either with a friend or just by jotting down some answers yourself. It will give you confidence and allow you time to think through answers in advance rather than saying the first thing that comes to your mind. Particularly important is the vague “Tell us a bit about you”. Make sure this is brief and punchy. Focus on the personal attributes that set you apart – your skills and experience are in the CV, and they will/should have read that.
  4. Prepare yourself. The last thing that you need is to be in a mad rush on the morning before your interview. So, get your clothes ready (and yes that means ironing them). Print out the address and, if you need them, directions. Double check transport and plan to be there half an hour early – it gives time for diversions/getting lost/leaves on the line situations. Go over your notes one last time and then chill out, relax. Now is the time to get a good night’s sleep – no stopping up all night to finish that box set!
  5. Dress to impress not to shock. Think smart, clean, and conservative. First impressions count hugely. This is not the time for stains on collars and rips in trousers. Have a good look in the mirror before you leave; food in teeth and cigarette breath is not going to give the right impression and check again before you go into the interview.

Now go get that job!