Strip Your Interview Preparation Back to Basics…

You’ve been applying for job after job, going through the application motions, and you finally receive an invite for a face to face interview for your dream job. Excitement sets in, which soon turns to panic as you’re lacking recent interview experience. Preparation is vital for success as interviewers expect you to be fully invested in the opportunity, along with acing those out the blue in-depth company questions to catch you off-guard. If this sounds like you, here’s some useful tips to help you strip your preparation back to basics and feel ready to conquer your next interview.

1. Do your research
Although this is obvious, many people enter the interview room without doing any background research of the company. Understanding the type of company culture, you could potentially be entering is vital, as cultural fit is a key necessity when recruiting externally. Make sure that you understand the company dynamic, the type of people they invest in and their values; you can then use this to your advantage and as a reference to support your suitability.

2. Know yourself
One hurdle that many applicants fall at is their personal understanding of their skills, strengths and weaknesses. Many can reel off a list of positives but fail to identify any weaknesses they may have. Before attending your next interview, I’d recommend having an honest look at what you can do and the areas you do want to progress in. There’s nothing worse than not being able to answer a question about yourself.

3. Prepare for the obvious
If you’ve attended many interviews in the past, you’ll have a greater understanding of the common questions asked. However, if you need a refresher, there are many online resources that can help you prepare and plan. Here’s a few questions that are simple but catch people off-guard as they fail to prepare:
– Why should we hire you?
– Why do you want to work for us?
– Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

4. First impressions
First impressions last. As cliché as that sounds, most interviewers make an impression of you within the first 5 minutes. Before arriving, think about the type of message you want to get
across, from your body language to your character. Sometimes who you are as a person is much more impressive than credentials.

5. Ask the right questions
Although an interview is the time for a potential employer to get to know you, its also an opportunity for you to find out if it’s the right fit for you. Many candidates ask questions for the sake of asking, rather than using the time wisely and finding out relevant information about the role/company/future aspirations.

6. Supporting material
Along with preparing the above, the next best move you can make to increase your chances of success is to take any relevant supporting material with you. If the role is asking for industry experience, there’s nothing better than taking along examples of your previous work to show that you can walk the walk too.

7. Be yourself
Although all the above preparation will give you a good head start, from personal experience, the most important thing you can do is to be genuine, yourself and get your personality across. There is nothing worse than trying to be someone that you’re not or boast about skills you currently don’t have. People buy people more than anything and no one else is you!

Although interviews are daunting, many people overcomplicate them. If you set aside some time to prepare, you’ll feel much more relaxed and enjoy the whole process. Interviews are nerve-racking, but they are also valuable learning experiences to take forward with you…… And you never know, your next interview may be your last one for the near future.

If you’re looking for your next role and would like some advice regarding interview preparation, feel free to contact Searchability on [email protected]

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