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Career Advice

5 Ways to Prepare for an Interview

First of all, well done! If you’ve been invited for interview, that’s a positive step. Your CV or application form has impressed! If you are going to be offered the job interviewshowever, you need to keep impressing and that means that at interview, you must convince the employer or recruiter that you are the best candidate for them. How can you do this? Well..the secret’s in the preparation. Here are 5 Ways to Prepare for an Interview that will set you on your way…

Research the Company
It’s pretty much a given that you will be asked what you know about the company or organisation. Respond with a ‘not too much’ or a blank expression and it could cost you the job. There are all sorts of places where you can find out all you need to know. Simply doing searches on Google, the organisation’s own website, industry or trade websites, magazines or periodicals can reveal everything from the organisation’s history through to future plans. No employer would expect you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of them, but would at least expect you to know the basics and the key things that matter.

Research the Role
If you have not already received a job description, you could always ask for one in advance of your interview. Alternatively you could simply do a little searching online. Many organisations will have job descriptions that can be accessed easily and readily. Some roles of course have fairly similar duties and responsibilities across all organisations so generic information on that ‘type’ of position may help too. Also check out the job advertisement itself since it may outline all the fundamental elements of the role that you would need to know. An interviewer will be questioning you on your understanding of the position, so if you fail to prepare on this matter, you are doing yourself no favours.

Prepare your answers
Even if you have previously attended lots of interviews, you still ought to prepare for the interview itself. If you can, try to find out what type of interview it is likely to be – will you be asked traditional style questions or will you be asked more competency focused questions. If it’s the latter, then it’s time to plan and prepare some examples that you can refer to that best highlight the skills the employer is seeking. Have a look at some of the most frequently asked interview questions and suggested answers to help you along.

Get the Practicals sorted
This one may seem fairly obvious but is still fundamentally an essential part of preparing for interview. Consider all the practical elements relating to your interview. Have you sorted out what to wear? How will you get to the interview location? If you’re using public transport have you checked timetables? Have you worked out how long it will take you, factoring in any unexpected delays that might occur of course? The more you prepare and get the finer details like this sorted well in advance of your interview, the better. After all, sometimes it is the smaller things like this that can end up causing trouble and undue stress – something that nobody wants to suffer from when they are about to have an interview.

Know yourself
Find this one a little strange? Well it’s not as strange as it may first appear. If you have been applying for lots of jobs and sending in different CVs for each and completing all sorts of applications it can be hard to keep track. Yes, the information on each ought to be generally the same, however it’s still worthwhile knowing exactly what information the interviewer you are due to meet has. Prepare by studying the CV that you sent them or the application form you submitted (hopefully you will have kept copies!) If you have been put forward for the job by a recruitment agency, ask for a copy of the CV that they sent to the organisation. It may be very different from the one you know! Familiarise yourself with your CV and be confident in discussing its contents. Many candidates can unfortunately at times exaggerate certain aspects of their CV and then can fail miserably when faced with questions about them. Tell the truth and you’ll be fine!

If you’ve got an interview in the pipeline, we hope that these tips help. Got any others? Why not let us know via the comments section below.

Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching.

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