Your essential interview guide
How prepared are you for your next big interview?
Interviews are an opportunity to sell yourself and your skills to a company in order to secure a
position and further your career. Seeing everybody as a client, not an employer, and promoting the benefits you can bring to them is vital.
However often you interview, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a first-timer, this guide will help you prepare for the best possible outcome and make a good impression.
Below are our 10 top tips to help you with this:
1. Be prepared
Spending time and effort preparing before the interview creates a good impression and shows you are serious and committed to the company and the role. Read the company website, follow its social media accounts and find out as much as possible about the company, the position and the skills required.
2. Make a good first impression
First impressions count. If the interview’s initial perception of you is a bad one, this may cast a
negative light over the rest of the interview. Ensure you have dressed appropriately for the interview, and judge the style of the company correctly.
If unsure, you can always establish the dress code in advance. Most important of all – don’t be late. Arrive 30 minutes early and find a coffee shop nearby where you can go over some last-minute interview practice.
3. Remember the details
It seems obvious but when you are invited for an interview, make sure you know where you’re
going. Turning up late because you wrote the address down incorrectly will seriously damage your chances of success, and getting the name of the company or the interviewer wrong makes you look unprofessional.
You may be applying for lots and lots of jobs with many different companies but it is not too difficult to prepare beforehand to make sure you have all the details correct in your head.
4. Show you are a match for the role
Use the knowledge you have gained to demonstrate that your skills are a match to their
requirements. Show that you understand the values of the company, the way the business operates and the exact requirements of the role. Communicate to the interviewer exactly how and why you are the right person for the job.
5. Talk about your experience
Review your career history including your accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses to support your application. If you have a lot of relevant experience, make sure you get this across clearly and articulately. You don’t need to list every single thing you have ever done; just talk about the most important experience and how it relates to the role.
If you don’t have much relevant experience – whether you are applying for your first job or changing industries – use specific examples that show your character and values are a match for the company. Don’t undersell yourself – if you believe you are a good match for the role, then communicate this strongly!
6. Use specific examples
If you are asked questions about your suitability for the role or your strengths and weaknesses, make sure you back up your claims with examples. Be prepared to cite examples of specific accomplishments that relate to the requirements of the position you are applying for and how your experience can assist them.
Are you a good salesperson? Prove it! Provide some figures to back up your claim or talk about a success you had with a previous company.
7. Prepare your answers
There are many questions that interviewers commonly ask so it would be wise to have an answer prepared for these. Don’t script your answer word-for-word as this will come off unnatural and rehearsed, but make sure you have a rough idea of how you will answer certain questions. Be honest about your accomplishments.
Questions you may be asked include:
• What relevant experience do you have?
• What do you know about the company?
• Why do you think you would be a good fit for the role?
• What are your biggest strengths/weaknesses?
8. Don’t be negative
Never raise negative issues during the interview relating to previous employers or co-workers. This may ring alarm bells in the interviewer’s mind that you are not good at creating relationships and you may go on to spread further negativity about their company if you end up leaving.
9. Don’t discuss money
One big no-no when it comes to interviews is discussing salary and benefits too soon. Of course
these things are important to you and will have an impact on your final decision to join the company
but If you ask these kinds of questions during the first interview can suggest that you are only
interested in benefits and not heavily invested in the role or the company.
10. Ask questions
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will almost certainly ask you if you have any questions.
This is a great opportunity for you to find out more about the role and the company. After all, the
interview is a two-way conversation where both you and the interviewer can decide whether this
role is for you. Asking questions about the position demonstrates interest and enthusiasm which will put you in the interviewer’s good books.
Here are some questions you could ask:
• Can you give me some more information about the projects I will be working on?
• What characteristics are most important to you as an employee?
• What is the company culture and work environment like?
• What are the next steps post-interview?
Follow these top tips and you will ace your next interview!