Prep it Real Good: How to Prepare for Your Job Interview
Author: Pippa Currie
Published date: 2019/07
Interviewing can be a daunting and distressing process; you get one opportunity to make an impression and stand out as the best candidate for the role. Some people are naturally very good at interviewing whereas for others, not so much. If you are one of the latter, then being prepared will most certainly be the difference between landing that new dream job and walking back through the door within 15 minutes.
If done right interviewing has a number of benefits, it’s a great opportunity to build industry connections, learn more about other companies in the market and ultimately progress your career. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare to get the most out of your interview.
In preparation for your interview, do as much research about the company as you can and be prepared to slip in references to their history, structure, culture, and their position in the market throughout the interview. This will show that you’ve done your background research on the company you are trying to work for. A potential employer will want to know that you have taken the time to understand what their company is about so be prepared to discuss specifically why you want to work for their company and how you can add value to their specific business model.
If you can, always try to get hold of a position description so you can thoroughly understand exactly what they are looking for and what the position will entail. If you know they are looking for specific skills, you want to be able to showcase that you possess theses throughout your interview.
Also, always look into exactly where you are travelling to for an interview. If you are driving, make sure you consider how the traffic will be at that time and what the parking situation will be. If you are taking public transport, then make sure you pre-plan your journey and take into consideration any line works etc. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early and DO NOT BE LATE!
Dress smart and appropriately. It’s always best to be over dressed than under dressed. Just use common sense – no flip flops, singlets or inappropriate clothing. If you’re unsure then remember the phrase ‘dress for the job you want’.
It sounds cliché but a strong handshake is important, no high-fives, people!
Maintain eye contact, this is very important. Strong eye contact shows you’re confident, engaged and interested in what they have to say.
Be yourself – find that balance between being prepared but not sounding too scripted.
What questions to expect:
Make sure you can talk through all your previous roles highlighting any major achievements and commenting on what you learnt/ took away from the role. Be prepared to talk through your reasons for leaving and try to articulate this in a positive manner, criticising a former employee never reflects well.
Interviewers will ask questions to assess your technical knowledge and ability to think on your feet. They may ask situational style questions, make sure you are logical with your answers and are able to talk them through your processes. They want to be sure you understand what you are talking about and have the depth of technical knowledge they are looking for.
Interviewers will ask you about how you responded to past situations to predict how you will behave in the future. The best way to prepare is to think of past examples where you have successfully solved a problem. Let the employer know about the situation, what action you needed to take, what result was achieved and what the potential result could have been if you hadn’t solved the issue.
Have a think about what your short-term and long-term goals are and what steps you think you need to take within a company to get there. Make sure what you are describing lines up with future opportunities that the company can offer. This will show you view them as a long-term commitment.
Throughout the interview:
Engage with the interviewer and ask questions. Asking questions about potential challenges, how they will assess performance, the opportunities for future development and how the role will evolve in the future will show that you have thoroughly considered the role, you’re serious, and you are thinking in the long-term.
Once the interview is over:
BREATHE AND RELAX!! If you’ve done all the above, chances are it was a pretty awesome interview and you have impressed the interviewers. This is now the part where you just have to wait, let the process take place and wait for those job offers to come rolling in… #goodluck!