Interview Preparation

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Job interviews are known for being nerve-wracking; wanting to make the best first impression for your dream job can be extremely frightening. You need to make sure that you are prepared for a job interview so that you can impress the interviewer and have a much better chance of getting the job that you want. There are simple tips that you can easily follow to prepare yourself better for any interview. Follow our advice and interview tips to secure a job at a company that will inspire you and help you to reach your career goals. 

What are the Different Types of Interview?  

Although many of us think of a job interview as a sit down meeting with the hiring manager at a company, there are actually a variety of types of interview that you could experience. This year, Covid-19 has meant that interviews have been taking place most commonly over the phone and via video on skype, zoom or any other video communication platform. There are also panel interviews where there will be more than two interviewers assessing you. Group interviews are the final interview type which includes one interviewer assessing more than one candidate at a time. Group interviews can be scary for shy people but require confidence so that you can stand out from the crowd. No matter what interview you attend, our preparation tips will help you speak to an employer confidently and give you a much greater chance of securing a job.

How Do You Prepare Yourself for an Interview?

There are a number of ways to prepare yourself for an interview. Whatever industry you are hoping to start a career in, the following job interview preparation tips are crucial so that you can focus on showing off your skills and expertise to a company.

Analyse the Job Description Thoroughly 

One of the most important tips when preparing for an interview is to thoroughly analyse the job description. A company’s job description will specify exactly what they are looking for and the skills/qualifications they expect you to have. The best way to ensure you are ready to answer any questions relating to the job description is to be able to explain each skill they require from you and the experience that you have. Look through each part of the job description and make sure you are confident that you can provide the company with the skills and experience they are asking for. 

Research the Company and the Role

You may have the qualifications and experience required of you for the role, but employers look for candidates that go above and beyond in their interview preparation. The best way to improve your chances at getting a job is to research the company and find out their aims, mission, and what they have previously worked on. You can find all of this information on a company’s website or social media, and can also find out more about which products or services they are offering. You will get an idea of the company culture when researching which will help you decide whether you are a good fit for the firm. Make sure you understand the role of the job and whether it is the career path you want to take. 

Remember What’s on Your CV and Cover Letter

This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget what they have written on documents like their CV and cover letter. It is quite likely that you will be asked questions about your CV or resume in a job interview, so it is extremely important that you are able to provide examples of your experience and know exactly what is on your CV. You should also be able to answer any questions about your career history and expertise. 

Prepare Questions to Ask The Employer

Once you have researched the company and know more about the interviewer, you may already have some questions that you would like to ask. Remember that although an interviewer is asking you questions and assessing you, you should also be assessing the employer, as you want to make sure the company you work for is a good fit for you. Prepare a range of questions to ask at the end of the interview. This will not only mean that you learn more about the company, but it will impress and show that you really care about which company you invest your time and skills into. 

Prepare Answers to Common Interview Questions

One of the most vital ways to prepare for a job interview is to find out which questions are most commonly asked, and come up with great answers for each. There are a range of questions interviewers ask, and they may not ask every question you expect, but it is still paramount that you prepare answers so that you can go into the interview with confidence and be sure to impress. Here are the 10 most common questions that you need to prepare an answer for:

  • Why do you want to work for the company?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What skills can you bring to the company?
  • Tell us about a time that you had to come up with a solution to a problem
  • Tell us more about yourself
  • Why did you leave your previous position?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
  • Tell us about a time you went above and beyond when working on a project
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What salary do you expect from this role?

Having answers prepared for each of these questions means that you can answer them in a clear and concise way during the job interview. You can also find a huge range of other interview questions, customised to your specific industry, online. Try to prepare answers for a large number of questions so that you will not be caught off guard. 

Practice with Family and Friends

A great way to prepare for an interview is to practice your answers to questions with friends and family. Set up an interview-like scenario and have a friend or family member ask you a range of questions. This is the perfect way to practice for your interview because you will be able to rehearse your answers and also add to them where you feel necessary. Your friend or family member can give you advice and feedback on the answers you provide to the questions. Practising the answers to questions with people you know can majorly improve your confidence and help you go to an interview highly prepared.

Print a Copy of Your CV/Resume to Take with You 

Although you may not need it, you should print a copy of your CV as well as any other relevant portfolios to give to your interviewer on the day, if the meeting is in person. You may also be required to take a form of identification, so make sure you are well prepared in terms of what you need to take with you to your job interview. You should also take a bottle of water and a notepad and pen. Taking these items to an interview will show that you are prepared and highly organised, increasing your chances of being hired.

Arrange an Outfit for the Interview

Whether you will be interviewed over video or in person, you should arrange an outfit for the interview beforehand. You should dress as smart as possible and make sure you look hygienic so that you are more likely to be hired. Even if your interview will be over the telephone, dressing up smart will help you to play the part of a confident, career-driven individual. 

Make Sure You Have Travel Arrangements in Place

If you have to travel to get to your interview, make sure you know where the interview is and how to get to it. You can find this out easily online, with Google maps or a direction planner. Always aim to arrive at your interview early as you never know what could go wrong with traveling. Traffic and delayed public transport can make you late to an interview if you do not leave enough time, which can completely ruin your chances of becoming employed at your dream job. If you are getting public transport then it is a wise idea to purchase tickets in advance and check the time that you need to be ready.

How Do I Prepare the Morning of an Interview?

On the morning of an interview, you should check over all of your notes and refresh your mind about the company, as well as the skills you need to work there. When you arrive at the interview’s location, make sure your mobile phone is switched off or on silent as the last thing you want is your phone ringing loudly during the interview or interrupting other workers at the firm. Take note of the atmosphere at the company, and try to figure out whether you feel happy to work in the environment they provide. Finally, keep calm and remember to be confident; your body language can make or break an interview. Try to regularly make eye contact and speak in a clear, well-paced way. No matter what questions they ask, if you are confident and calm then you can get through the interview successfully and have a chance at securing the job. 

We hope that you found our interview tips helpful. Your dream job could be an interview away, so it is extremely important to prepare correctly and know what to say.