Preparing for the Interview

Research the Company

A good place to start when you receive that interview letter, is to learn everything there is to know about the company you are interviewing for. Research the company by visiting their website and social media pages, and pay particular notice to the service or product they provide, who their target audience or customers are, how they market their company, and their overall ‘vision’.

Analyse the Role You Are Applying For

You have already secured yourself an interview, which means that your prospective employer believes that you may have the skills and qualities to be successful in this role. Your job now is to prove it! Sit down with the job description and person specification and analyse each requirement and how you could match this with a skill, quality or previous experience that you have. Keep these answers in mind, the employers are extremely likely to ask these questions!

Dress the Part

Your interview appearance will count for a lot to an employer when they are deciding upon the most suitable candidate. If you are successful, you will be representing the company, so it is important that you dress the part! Choose an outfit that is professional and respectable, clean and smart. Ensure that you prep your outfit well in advance, rather than on the morning of the interview.

Try a Mock Interview

The best method for preparation is practice. Ask a friend or family member, particularly one who will be honest and critical, to run through a mock interview with you. This will allow you to identify areas of weakness or topics that you may have to research further.

Bring the Essentials

In the week running up to your interview, prepare a set of essentials that you will need to bring with you on the day. With the majority of interviews, you will have to contact the company to confirm that you will be attending your interview. Take this opportunity to ask whether there are any specific documents or items that you need to bring on the day. A good place to start is to bring an additional copy of your CV, proof of identity such as passport or driving licence, a list of references and questions to ask the employer.

What NOT to Bring

If you have to bring your mobile phone, it’s essential to switch it off throughout your interview – there is nothing more unprofessional than your phone going off during a job interview! Don’t bring in any food or drink, and ensure you are not chewing gum when you meet your employer.

Remember Your Interview Body Language

You don’t want the employer’s first impression of you to be of someone who is hunched over and unable to make eye contact. Ensure that you appear as confident as possible – shake the employer’s hand and introduce yourself, make eye contact, speak up rather than mumbling and smile!

Plan Your Route and Transport

Ahead of your interview, make sure that you plan the route to your interview and are sure of the transport you are taking. If you plan to drive to the interview, ensure that you are familiar with the route or prepare a SatNav for the journey. If you are using public transport, research the route and the expected journey time to allow for early arrival – and it’s not acceptable to arrive 5 minutes prior to your interview! Triple check the address you have, using the company’s website, or even confirm the address over the phone with the employer. If you are particularly concerned about the route, or your interview is taking place during peak traffic times, it may be wise to carry out a trial run of the journey!

Make Sure you are Well Rested!

An early night and a decent length sleep will do wonders for your performance. Don’t plan a night out the evening before your interview, and make sure you are awake with plenty of time to eat breakfast and prepare yourself for the day.

Don’t Underestimate the Finer Details

Some of these tips may seem obvious and unimportant, however if it is a close call between you and another candidate, it may be these small and seemingly insignificant details that give you the edge over another candidate! Don’t underestimate the importance of your language, your appearance or your actions!