Wednesday, 19 February 2014

How to Prepare for a Job Interview


1  Do your research
Before any job interview it is vital that you know your stuff. Make sure that you spend time researching the company - what they do they, how they do it and what their company values are. Statistics, figures and awards they’ve won are usually a massive winner when it comes to interviews as it shows the interviewer that you’ve really made the effort to do your research and that you want to be a part of it! Researching any new initiatives or recent changes also shows that you’ve kept yourself up to date with the company.

2  Venue
Make sure that you know exactly where you’re going for your interview. If you’ve never been to the venue before then do a little trial run with yourself and take note of how long it takes you to get there. Make sure that you keep in mind if there might be any unexpected delays at the time of your interview and have a plan B route just in case!

3  Appearance
Appearance is KEY to a job interview. Sounds very vein but this is probably one of the most important aspects to think about. Although we don’t like to admit it, our first impressions of people lie with how they look. An employer won’t even look twice at you if you turn up in jeans, converse and last night’s make up. A nice blazer/blouse/skirt or pants ensemble usually does the trick (unless obviously you’ve been asked to wear otherwise). Hair and make-up is also something to consider. A well executed bun or pony-tail with minimal make-up is a great way to portray that you’re a well put together young lady. They don’t have to see your smokey-eye, false eye-lash, red lippy clad alter-ego self exclusive for Saturday nights on the town! I also like to make an effort with my nails aswell, as bright orange chipped nail varnish isn’t the best look.

4  Prepare answers
This is where Google becomes your best friend. There are so many forums and websites that list interview FAQ’s and how to the answer them. The typical ones like ‘What can you bring to the role’, ‘What do you know about us?’ and ‘What are your strengths?’ are what you need answers to in your mind before the day. I find that searching online gives me so many various answers and great buzz words to jot down. Looking at your job description or person specification can also trigger some possible questions that you will be able to think of answers to. I find that clearly writing them all down in a notebook is such a great way of remembering them, and having a quick check through them on the day is also great help too!


1  First impression
This is the time to sell yourself! Saying ‘walk in like you own the place’ is a little extravagant but I would definitely say be confident and believe in yourself. Introduce yourself and make an effort to shake hands with your interviewers. I also like to make a comment e.g about the weather etc to show that you’re down to earth, relaxed and also puts your interviewers at ease from the start.

2  Their questions
It’s always important to take your time when answering any questions. This ensures that you don’t forget to say anything that you wanted to say and also gives you chance to expand on your points. Always try to make at least 3-4 points per question to demonstrate your knowledge and versatility. Also, when asked about your skills, its very important to give examples of when you’ve actually used those skills. It’s all well and good reeling off a list of skills that you acquire, but your point will become a hell of a lot stronger if you find evidence to back it up with!

3  Your questions
This is also a very important aspect to think about. At the end, interviewers will usually ask 'is there anything you want to ask us?'. Whatever you do, do not say no! Here are some possible questions to have up your sleeve;
1. How many other people work in the team?
2. What opportunities are there for progression and promotion?
3. When can I expect to hear from you?
4. Does the job involve any sort of training?
5. What's a typical week like in the job role?


1 Feedback
Whether you got the job or not, it's essential that you ask for interviewer for feedback. Although it might be a little awkward if you didn't get the job, it really does help in the long run. This is your chance to take some notes and remember what to do/not to do if you're faced with the same situation again. You might be sat there calling them every name under the sun because of the fact they didn't offer you the job but a quick call or e-mail for feedback doesn't take long and is so important!