Finally, you’ve re-written your CV and sent those cover letters, now you’ve been invited to an actual face-to-face interview – what to do next?! Don’t stress. Preparing for an interview can be hard work but once you’ve prepared for one you’ll be in the rhythm for preparing for many.
Research your potential employer, they may ask you briefly when the company started or what you know about the company. This is just to show your commitment to the interview, the company and that you’re taking it seriously. It can also help you tailor your answers the company if you know their products/services/clients/previous projects.
Lauren Cox, Senior Commercial Consultant at Pertemps suggests “Candidates should prepare examples from current skills/previous work history to the competencies required for the role which will be highlighted in the job specifications.” She also mentions that “Candidates should write 3-5 questions to ask at the end of the interview – take these with you and if they’re answered before you get the opportunity to ask them it still shows the employer that you have taken the time to think of relevant questions.”
As well as this it is essential that you have thought about how to answer the most frequently-asked interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Why should you be hired?
- What makes you a good team player?
- Why should I hire you over someone else?
It’s the big day and you’re nervous. This is natural, but you’ve researched the company and practiced questions so you’ll be fine! Now it comes down to common sense but when you’re stressing about the job you REALLY want, that sometimes goes out the window.
Don’t be late!
This puts a black mark against your name and you immediately at a disadvantage against other candidates if you can’t at least be on time. Leave with plenty of time to spare, if you’re really early get a coffee beforehand and go over your interview answers.
Dress to impress!
Even if the job you’ve applied for has a relaxed attitude and a casual work wear policy it’s best to be too smart than too casual as it shows you care about your appearance and making a good first impression.
People forget about this when they’re thinking about how to answer questions carefully but it is important to relax and smile. Your interviewer wants to see your personality shine through as well as your competence to the job.
You might be thrown a curve ball question that you hadn’t prepared for and you’re not sure how to answer. Stay calm, don’t get flustered. The interviewer wants to see that you are able to think on your feet. Smile, mention that it is and “interesting question that you need to think about” then give them a sensible, thought-out answer.
Make sure you ask the interviewer questions to show you’re really interested in the role and the company. Then end the interview on a positive note, thank them for their time and say you look forward to hearing from them.
The job market is tough and competitive but following these steps of preparing correctly and being confident in your abilities will make you out shine the other candidates!
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