Interview Preparation

So you've made it to the interview stage. Given the large number of people competing for each and every advertised position that's not an easy task. You may not be looking forward to the actual interview itself, but there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances, which we'll walk you through it step-by-step below.


Research the Company and Position Prepare for the Interview Questions Dress to Impress Arrive on Time Stay Calm If You Don't Succeed...

Research the Company and Position:

The first thing you can do prior to your interview is to research the position you're interviewing for, the interviewer (if you have their name), and the company or organisation itself. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for. Know as much about the company as possible. You can't change your employment history or your qualifications, but you can work harder than every other applicant by being very knowledgeable about the company. Use the company's website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible. Try to find out key facts and figures, such as their main products, their main competitors, and so on.

Prepare for the Interview Questions:

Prior to the day of the interview, it's best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths, but you should also brace yourself for the deceptively simple questions that most employers like to throw at their interviewees. Make sure that you practice these questions repeatedly before your interview.

In order to help you prepare for the most common questions that may be thrown at you, we've included a number of links to articles on other sites that list these off. It might also be advisable to research if there are any common interview questions specific to the area of work you're applying for.

Dress to Impress:

First impressions are important. As a rule of thumb, you should dress for the interview one level above the job you're applying for; this shows a desire to succeed. Choose subdued colours (blues, browns, greys, black), make sure that your shoes are polished, and that your clothes are well fitting and wrinkle-free.

Arrive on Time:

Try to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Make sure you know exactly how to get to the interview location, as well as where to park when you arrive. Go to bed early the day (or the days) before the interview so that you look rested and healthy on the big day. Bring an extra copy of your resume, CV, and/or references in case your interviewer wants to go over any points with you or neglects to bring their own copy.

Stay Calm:

It's very easy to get panicked in an interview; the previously mentioned preparation is a great way for you to stay in control of the situation. Remember to be pleasant and polite, shake hands, and speak clearly. Experienced interviewers will be used to people being a bit nervous in the interview setting, so try not to worry too much. Try to also ask questions to further show your interest in the position.

If You Don't Succeed:

No matter how well you prepare, or do in the interview itself, there will always be times that the end result doesn't turn out how you'd like it to. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't mean that you can't improve your chances for the next time. Try and get feedback from the interviewer to see if there is something you can improve on for your next interview. Alison Green has a great article, written for US News, on dealing with job rejection, and making gaining the most you can from the experience; Uzair Bawany has a similarly excellent article, written for the Guardian, that can be seen here.