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Interview Preparation

Posted on: 14 Jan 14


Interview Preparation

Congratulations! You've now got an interview. If you're nervous, don't worry - many people have survived the process. The trick to a good interview lies in two things;

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation
2. Be yourself (filtered version)

So how to prepare...

1. Know what interview you're going for

If you have been applying for a number of jobs, this is where your spreadsheet comes in handy to track where you've applied and at what stage in the application process you're at. Ideally, find out who will be interviewing and whether you have had any previous interaction.

2. Research the position and the company

Hopefully you would have done some research in order to tailor your CV and cover letter to your application. You too want to make sure that the company is the right fit for you, just as you are for the company. Find out what their vision and strategy is, what about their values? The interviewer may have other things on their mind, so know whether they've been featured in the news recently? It will also be helpful to know why they're hiring, are they expanding or are they replacing someone?

3. Know what you can offer them

By now, you should know your CV and your cover letter inside out. Practice answers to common questions in front of the mirror e.g. "Tell me about yourself" "Why do you think you should get the job?" "What are your weaknesses?" (note: “working too hard” is not an answer). Not all interviews will have 'traditional' questions, and questions are sometimes geared to test whether the candidates can think on their feet. This is your opportunity to answer questions in a way that markets yourself. No need to freak out if a curve ball comes your way.

4. Know what they can offer you. to get there

This might seem like a strange one to add, however it is extremely important that you know what the position is offering, whether that be; salary, benefits, career or learning opportunities.

5. Have questions

In most cases, the interviewer will ask "do you have any questions for us?" Yes. Yes is always the answer. Then ask one or two well thought out questions. For example;

- In a year's time, looking back on the year - what kinds of achievements will we be celebrating? This demonstrates teamwork and long-term strategic thinking.
- How do you see this role contribute to the company's XYZ strategy?
- What’s your ideal candidate?

6. Practice

With the help of family and friends, practice speaking without filler words, such as 'um' or 'ah'. Practice a decent handshake. Practice answering those interview questions.

7. Get logistics sorted

Where is it? How long will it take to get there? Will you be using public transport? Will you have to fly over? Is it via Skype? If you are able to, take a 'test run' to the interview at the same time of day to determine how long it would take to get there.

8. Be presentable

Find out the dress code of the company and dress slightly more formal. Are they are casual? Then dress in business casual. Do they wear suit and shirt? How about adding in a tie? Personal hygiene should not be underrated; you don't want to potentially lose an offer because you forgot to put deodorant on that morning.

9. Bring the necessities.

Have hardcopies of the job descriptions, your CV, cover letter and photocopies of any transcripts just in case. Bring any additional documents they've specifically requested. Water and breath mints are good to bring and you'll also want to make sure that you've eaten something too - because a growling stomach can be a little bit distracting for yourself and the interviewer.

10. Chill

10. Chill



Mike Wood - editor

Last updated on: 07/08/2014 14:03:54

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