when it comes to a job interview, preparation is essential.
However, even the best-laid plans can go out the window when nerves kick in. Here's how to make sure your plan goes to fruition.
- Find out as much as you can about the business.
How do they perform? Who are their competitors and clients? What are their main products or services? What opportunities could they be missing? What are the significant industry issues?
- Do the same research on the person interviewing you.
Who are they, and who do they answer to? What is their experience? Do you share any common interests, whether they’re related to work or leisure?
- Confirm your interview day and time. A mix-up only ever reflects poorly on you.
Finally, rehearse and rehearse again. Anticipate questions, list your skills and experience, and speak your answers out loud.
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- Dress respectfully, paying attention to your clothing, make-up and hairdo.
Having researched the business, dress to reflect who they are and their market.
- Sometimes a suit is a perfect answer, but it's not the right fit.
If you're unsure, err on the side of caution and wear something more formal than not.
During the interview, show interest in the role and the business. Ask lots of questions – here are some suggestions:
- Who will I be working with, and what are they like?
- Who will I report to, and how does my work impact their KPIs?
- What upcoming projects will I be working on?
- Is this a new position, or was it filled previously?
- What processes and systems are in place to help me achieve my goals?
Take notes as they answer your questions. Not only does it look professional, but the notes could come in handy when you’re called back for a second interview.
To sell yourself, you must be yourself, so don’t pretend to be somebody else. Instead, let your personality shine through.
- This is not a situation where you want to be shy about your skills and experience.
- An interviewer, who has likely seen numerous candidates in the past few days, will remember people because they had something interesting to say.
- Present your strengths to the interviewer and back them up with anecdotes about how you've used them to good effect in the workplace.