How to prepare for a job interview
A job interview is one of the most important meetings you’ll attend. The good news is they don’t have to be nerve-wracking, tense and stressful affairs which often result in unintentional mistakes being made.
We’ve all been there. The wrong answer, unexpected test or inappropriate approach can banish any chance of grabbing that dream job. But with a little preparation you’ll find the whole experience much easier, and hopefully with a good outcome.
In this post, I’ve got 7 tips for preparing for that all important job interview. They won’t cost you a penny, but they’ll make sure you’re ready for anything your potential employer can throw at you.
- Do your research
A common mistake is to arrive at a job interview with little to no knowledge of the company in question other than its name and the industry within which it operates. Employers occasionally need their ego stroking and will want to know you’ve done your homework. Find out as much about the company’s history and future plans as you can.
- Prepare your responses
It is impossible to predict every question you’ll be asked, but you’re likely to be presented with the usual suspects. What can you add to the role? What’s your experience? Why should they choose you? Plan your responses to the obvious questions and try and give thought to potential curveballs.
- Take a notebook
Before you head to the interview, note some questions of your own in a notebook and take it with you. It’ll demonstrate that you mean business and most employers will be impressed by the fact you take notes during the discussion.
- Plan your attire
Dressing incorrectly for job interviews is as dangerous as turning up without having performed your research. Regardless of the type of company or job for which you’re applying, dress smartly and avoid brash, attention-grabbing colours and attire. And don’t wear flip flops.
- Do a skills check
Take time to read through the job description and match your existing or desired skills to the requirements laid out. During the interview, you can then highlight where your skill set will benefit the role in particular.
- Plan to arrive early
If you’re late to your job interview, you may as well kiss the opportunity goodbye. Avoid this prospect by sussing out the journey and location beforehand; take a trip to the office a day or so before to familiarise yourself with its locality and any potential traffic problems.
- Plan your non-verbal communication
What you say at an interview is crucial, of course, but many people forget to pay attention to what they do when they’re not speaking. Your behaviour in the waiting room or attentiveness during the meeting will all be noted, so make sure you are respectful and engaged.
Like anything in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Job interviews will always be nervy affairs, but if you follow the tips above, you’ll at least feel confident and ready to tackle them head on.