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Interview Preparation - Part 1

Dec 19, 2017

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Part 1: Before attending interview

Interviews can be nerve-racking and can take place in a variety of different styles, however the key to success in any interview situation is:

  • Preparation
  • Practice
  • Performance

The more you know about how you will be perceived, the more you can prepare.   From a survey of recruiters, the qualities that influenced them were, in priority:

  • Your personality, how you present yourself in the interview
  • Your experience, how closely it matches the company’s requirements
  • The qualifications you have for the position
  • The enthusiasm you have towards the organisation and position.
  • Your background and references

An invitation to an interview means that an employer believes you have the potential to do the job.  The interview is your chance to convince the recruiter that you are the right person.  So how do you prepare and make sure that your performance gets you the job?

PREPARATION:

Research the company, most employers will ask what you know about their company, or why do you want to work here?

Use the companies own website but also check out their social media: Linked in, Facebook Twitter to see what information they are sharing.  For financial information go to Companies House to get a copy of their last set of accounts and annual report. 

All interviewers expect you to do research about their company, however to really impress them, use the research you’ve done to describe how you will hit the ground running and contribute right away – the bigger the impact the better. 

Research the market they operate in, what challenges are they facing, who are their competitors, what are the latest industry developments.

Interviewers want to see enthusiasm for the job and company, they don’t want to get the impression that you only applied because you need a job, any job, and this job was all that was available.

Once you have done your research on the company and the job, this will help you compile questions you would like to ask, this is your opportunity to interview the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

Asking questions is a good way to dig into the company culture and the specific day-to-day responsibilities of the job, so that your first week or so in the position won't be accompanied by any major surprises. 

THINGS TO PRACTICE:

Consider what they might ask, and prepare examples to highlight areas of your ability you want to showcase. One way to do this is to review the job description and list the experience, skills and personal qualities that the recruiter is looking for. Then list your skills, values, and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses, for each item on the list, consider a time when you displayed that quality.   Take the time to match your list to the requirements of the job, and use a past situation to describe how you successfully handled it.

If you bring a specific skill, show how they can leverage that skill immediately.  Remember how they see it: they have to pay your salary starting day one, so they'd love to see an immediate return on that investment starting day one.

Conduct practice interviews with a friend or family member, and ask for their feedback. The more you practice, the more self-assured you will feel walking into the interview. Your answers will feel natural, and interviewers will be impressed by your confidence.

Remember: 

  • Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance….
  • Failing to prepare is preparing to fail….

 

Part 2: Up Next - Body Language at Interview