Your first step will be to fully research the company, the role and ideally the person who will be interviewing you. This information will be available online via the company website and LinkedIn. Being and feeling fully prepared will not only impress the interviewer, it will also help to give you that extra confidence on the day.
Study the Job Description
You should receive a Job Description before any interview. Aligning your skills and experiences with the JD will allow for maximum impact with your interview responses. Every organisation uses different language, or ‘buzz’ words, and tailoring your responses to match these is going to greatly improve your chances of success.
Study the Industry
If you really want to stand out from the crowd and go that extra mile, demonstrating that you have done your homework on the specific industry and that you are able to see the bigger picture and think strategically will earn you serious brownie points.
Familiarise Yourself with Your CV
Many interviewers will structure the interview around your CV, so being able to talk confidently through your previous experiences will be crucial to your success. Being able to back up statements with facts and figures will always go down well.
Questions, Questions, Questions
When undertaking all of the above research, coming up with relevant questions to ask on the day is a must. Open questions which are going to create a positive discussion about the role or organisation are much more effective than closed questions relating to aspects such as Holiday Entitlement or lunch time allowance. The opportunity to ask questions will typically come at the end of the interview, which opens a 5-10 minute window for you to leave things on a positive note and help create a long lasting impression.
On The Day
It is only natural to feel nervous before or during an interview, especially when you really want that job! Having your travel route pre planned and arriving in good time (ideally with 30 minutes leeway) will help to minimise these feelings.
The most nerve racking time can be when you find yourself sitting quietly in reception waiting for the interview to begin. Practising simple breathing techniques will help to keep those inevitable feelings of anxiety at bay.
Just remember to relax and be yourself. The interview is as much for you to find out if this is the right opportunity for you as it is for the interviewer to decide if you are a right fit for the company – go in with an open mind. Smile, eye contact and a firm handshake will help create a positive impression.
If you don’t get the job, it’s not the end of the world. Nobody gets every job they interview for. Seek feedback to improve your performance next time around and remember, interviewing is a skill, practice makes perfect!