“Preparation is the key to success”
Interview preparation…we all know about it but do you actually do it? If you don’t here is why you should.
Interviews are all about preparation, ‘prepare for the worse and hope for the best’ type of situation and good preparation is the essential key to a successful interview. By being prepared will not only make you appear cool, calm and collected but the right preparation could potentially set you apart from your rival interviewees.
So we have put together a small preparation checklist that will help you get through your interview with ease.
Know You’re Application
It’s a mistake to go into an interview unsure of what the actual job is, however it can happen if you have multiple interviews. The best way to avoid this happening is to print of the job description (ask your recruiter for one) and a copy of the covering letter you sent for the application.
Re-reading the job description is the best way to formulate ideas as to what the interviewer may ask you during the interview, so you can be prepared in answering them.
Research The Company
The best way to show your interview preparation and keenness to the interviewer is to research the company. You should always at the very least have a look at the company website to familiarise yourself with their history and what they do. As you can guarantee they will ask in some form what you know about the company.
A quick google of the company is also handy, as you can find out about recent press coverage or noteworthy achievements, which can give YOU questions to ask the interviewers almost turning the interview on its head.
Interviewers love interviewees to have a brief amount of knowledge about them and their company as it is showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about them and that you care about the interview / job.
Plan Your Journey
Planning a journey, seems a simple enough task. However you would be wrong! You would be shocked how many people leave this to the last minute causing them to turn up late. As recruiters we see this all the time and to us and out clients it’s one of the worst interview sins.
Make sure you know where you’re going, how to get there and then leave plenty of time to make the trip. You should at least get to the interview location a minimum of 10 minutes early. It also doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan should anything unexpected happen.
Practice Your Interview Questions
The best way to prevent being caught off-guard on the day is is to TRY a practice answers to common questions every interviewer asks. The last thing you want is to start panicking while trying to come up with answers.
Confidence is key with this one, so try practicing either by yourself (in the mirror is a good idea as you’ll get a sense of your body language) or get a friend to quiz you.
You should also prepare and practice asking questions for the interviewer. 91% of our clients have said that an interviewee should come with prepared questions for an interview. Here are our top 10 impressive questions to ask an interviewer:
- Can you describe a typical day in this type of role?
- How long have you been at the company and what make you stay?
- How would you describe the work environment and corporate culture?
- What are some of the goals for the company in the short and longer term?
- How would my performance be measured?
- What types of career opportunities may open down the road for a person starting out in this type of position, assuming they perform well?
- What are some of the company’s initiatives regarding learning and development?
- How do you see this industry developing in the future? How is your industry changing?
- What is the question you really want to ask me but haven’t?
- What characteristics do you believe would bring someone in this position success? and why?
Dressing To Impress
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, most interviewers will judge you by your appearance. You would be surprised how much it could affect your chances. Almost all interviewers will instantly dismiss you as a potential employee should you turn up with the wrong appearance no matter what you say during the interview.
Need help with what to wear to an interview, read our tips here.
Bring Items To Help You
You wouldn’t think you would need to take anything to an interview but you should! A builder would never turn up to work without his tools and a lawyer would never go to court without their files, so why should you go to an interview without items to help you?
Here are the top 10 items we think you should be taking with you to interviews and why:
- Mobile Phone – You should always bring your phone as this is a way you recruiter can stay in touch with you, should there be any problems.
- Identification – If the building the interview is in has security, you maybe asked to show a driver’s license or another form of identification.
- Pen and paper – It’s easier to have your own than borrow one if you have to fill out paperwork or take down notes. A notepad would be best for overall presentation. In the notepad jot down any information you may need before hand just as a list of questions for the interviewers.
- CV / Resume – It’s always best to have a copy with you, as the interviewer may make reference to them during the interview.
- Job Description – It’s good to have with you on hand just so you can have a quick look before you go into the interview.
- Directions – Even though you should have planned your route to the interview, a map of directions is the best back-up plan to have with you should something happen on the way.
- Hairbrush or comb – Take either of these with you just in case the walk to the interview is windy. The worst thing would be to walk into an interview with your hair a mess having spend time and money looking your best.
- Aftershave or perfume – Just like above you have done a lot to get ready and you may have got hot on the walk to the interview or have walked passed a burger stall you are bringing those smells with you and that could be a distraction for the interviewer.
- Water – Some interviewers may not offer any, so it’s best to have some to hand to prevent headaches and a dry throat.
- Umbrella – Check the weather before you leave for the interview. If you don’t manage to check it before always take an umbrella with you.
After reading this you can now understand how preparation really is the key to success and that it’s almost as important as the interview itself.