How to prepare for an interview
A face-to-face interview is your chance to show a prospective employer who you are and what you can offer. It’s your chance to make a good first impression and show why they should pick you, so being prepared is vital.
Our specialist consultants have come up with some tips to keep in mind when you have an interview on the horizon and how to stand out from the crowd.
Know your stuff
Knowing what the company does, what it provides, its structure and the market it operates in will be sure to impress. Going to an interview without knowing the basics could make you look disinterested and lazy.
Often an interviewer will give you the chance to ask a few questions towards the end of an interview and it’s important you do. Questions like ‘why has the position become available?’ and ‘what are the main objectives of the role?’ are always a good start. Having around five questions prepared will stand you in good stead. Just remember to filter your questions at the end if they have been answered naturally through the course of the interview.
Sleep well and pack in advance
Pack your bag/briefcase/handbag the evening before to avoid unneeded interview-day stress. Ensure you have a pen, notepad and a copy of your CV, plus anything else that may have been specifically requested. If you’re interviewing for a specific or specialist role, take a small portfolio of work to showcase your skills; then if they ask to see an example of your work, you’ll be prepared to show them on the day.
On the day
Greet the interviewer(s) with a smile and a handshake. Throughout the interview, make eye contact and always make sure you look engaged. Try and mimic their style – if they’re formal, be formal, if they’re informal, be informal. Avoid negative body language like crossing your arms or leaning back in your chair. Instead, try and be open and engaged in the way you hold yourself.