Interview Tips

How to prepare for an interview

If you’ve bagged yourself an interview, congratulations!!! I know the feeling all too well, you’re giddy with excitement and then the nerves and dread sets in. “O.M.G… I’ve got an interview.” But panic not! I’m here on hand to advise you on how to prepare for an interview.

The first thing you need to realise is that by getting an interview, it means the company already likes you!! You must have made a great first impression with your CV!!

The second, and also most important, thing to remember is that whilst they are interviewing you, you need to interview them. They need to know that you’re the perfect hire for the role, and you need to make sure that the role (and the business, colleagues, management, basically everything that comes with it) is the right move for you.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you are preparing for a video interview, there are additional factors to bear in mind too!

So let’s get you prepared for this interview! Relax. It’s cool, I got you 🙂 Take my hand, let’s dive in together.

Research the company website

Use the company website to find out exactly what the company does, which department you might fit in, what the culture is like, who else might work there, and read their blogs/news pages if they have any.

A company wouldn’t dream of interviewing ‘just anyone’ without going through their CV first, and you shouldn’t turn up to an interview without knowing anything about them either. Knowing about the company you’re interviewing with also demonstrates that you’re serious about the role and have taken the time to learn about them.

Research company socials

Once you’ve looked at their website, try to find them on social media. A lot of content posted on a company’s social channels might not even be published on their site, so checking out their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps even Instagram will provide a better insight into some recent news.

These may be things like recent projects, achievements, charity work, or even collaborations. All very useful topics to discuss during your interview to demonstrate that you’ve done your research.

Research the interviewer

If you know the name of your interviewer(s) try and find them on LinkedIn. This will give you a little insight into then as a person, their career history to date, and, depending on the role, it could also give you an indication as to how they may have grown their career with the company.

By researching your interviewer on LinkedIn, you may also comes across some of their posts in which you could pick up valuable information about their likes and dislikes. If you can build up a good relationship with your potential hiring manager from the get-go, you’ll make a good, memorable first impression.

Read the job description

Before you attend your interview, you need to make sure that you know that job description inside and out! Make sure you fully understand what the role entails, what is expected of you in the role, the business, benefits, etc…

You’ll be given the chance to ask any questions during the interview, and if you ask something that has been answered on the job description, it’s going to look like you either didn’t do your research, or worse, you don’t care.

Read your own CV

Reading your own CV over and over is equally as important as familiarising yourself with the job description. Interviews are scary, and sometimes we can get so caught up in our nerves that we can forget minor details such as dates and grades, etc… But unfortunately, forgetting these small but important details can make you appear under-prepared and can sometimes raise doubts that you may not have been honest.

Write down questions

Once you’ve done your researched and familiarised yourself with all the information available to you, plan some questions to ask on the day. You’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions during and at the end of the interview, so make sure you’ve got plenty to choose from.

Prepare a mix of questions not only relating to the job role, but also questions relating to the wider business, their future growth plans, heck, why not ask the interviewer themselves where they see themselves in five years time!

Remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you!!

Plan the day

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. First impressions are everything, so plan your interview day at least a day in advance so you’re not rushing around last minute and risk being late. Find out the address, do you know the way, bus routes, where to park your car? Will the be roadworks? How long will your journey take and when should you aim to be ready by?

Also plan your outfit. Make sure it’s cleaned, ironed, and always prepare a backup outfit, just in case of accidental coffee spillages!!

Print 2 copies of your CV off just in case, along with the job description for reference and have your notebook to hand with the questions you’ve prepared.

Calm your nerves

After having prepared so well, the last thing you want to do is forget everything because you’re nerves are taking over.

There are plenty of tips on calming interview anxiety, and lucky for you, I’ve even written a blog post on it!

Finally, after your interview

Your done! That hard part is over, now you can relax. Make sure you’ve got something to look forward to after your interview if time allows. Something that can help you relax and take your mind off the interview and let yourself unwind.

Don’t forget though, make sure to always send a follow-up email to your interviewer thanking them for their time!

If you’ve got an interview coming up, good luck! Don’t forget, if you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me, please feel free to contact me – it’s free!

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