Interviews are clearly the key point in the recruitment process. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, if you don’t interview well it will limit your career choices. It’s crucial that you prepare well for your interview. As with any performance, practice makes perfect.
General tips and advices on how to prepare for an interview:
- Read your CV again and be prepared to talk about it in more detail. Make sure you have positive answers if the interviewer wants more detail on the information you have supplied. If you have gaps in your CV or have not stayed in a job for long, make sure you can give positive reasons. Based on the skills detailed on your Curriculum Vitae, consider what you will actually bring to the company and role.
- Research the company. Find out everything you can about the company. There is a lot of information on the website (size, structure, core business, location, international links, products / services, customers, company culture, awards etc). But you can also read for example the annual report. If you are not familiar with the company’s business sector, try to find out as much as you can. Identify the company’s main competitors, recent events within the sector, the effects these may have had on the company.
- Make sure you are familiar with the job description. Think of how you can demonstrate that you have the key skills and experience necessary for the role.
- Anticipate, prepare and write questions and answers the interviewer might ask you. In all interview questions you want to appear strong, motivated, driven. Reading through those questions and developing your own answers is a good place to start in your preparation. The golden rule with interview questions is never to answer with just “yes” or “no”: always explain your response.
- Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. You will always be given the chance to ask questions yourself. Even if the interviewer has answered most of your questions, have a few prepared to ask at the end. This can help demonstrate your interest in the job.
- Prepare a list of 8 – 10 personal selling points. Things to remember when you make your personal selling points: Strengths, weaknesses, qualifications, achievements, skills, challenges overcome, experience, interests, relate everything to the job on offer.
- Google yourself! Recruiters frequently perform internet searches on candidates to learn more about them. You must be aware of potential questions that could stem from the internet search (Google / social media).
- Have a mock interview with a friend based on the common interview questions you’re likely to face.
- Remember that an interview is a “two way street”. The employer will try to determine through questioning if you have the qualifications, experience and personality necessary to do the job. You must determine through questioning whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development that you seek.
- Do remember that you will be interviewed because the employer wants to hire someone – not to trip you up or embarrass you.