A job interview is an exciting but nerve-wracking experience that can leave even the most confident of candidates feeling uneasy.
When you’re meeting with a potential new employer, it’s completely natural to feel nervous; after all, you want to sell yourself and your skills appropriately.
However, the key to success with any interview is being prepared. As such, Webrecruit has compiled a list of the nine most important things you should do to ensure that you’re completely ready for your upcoming interview.
1. Research the company and its culture thoroughly
We’re not just talking about quickly reading the company’s ‘About Us’ page on their website. To make a great impression in your interview, you should conduct some in-depth research into what the company does, its culture and its future goals and ambitions.
Make sure that you’re following the business’ social media accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter. However, don’t neglect other platforms, such as Instagram; you might be able to gain further insight into their culture and their employees.
For example, if you notice that employees regularly head out for pizza together on Fridays, you might make reference to their social culture in your interview. It’s also worth looking at any employee testimonials on the website to see what their existing staff enjoy about working for the business.
2. Make sure you’re prepared for any tasks
Sometimes, you might be asked prior to the interview to prepare for a particular task; this can include a presentation, a technical skills test or a written exercise.
It’s really important to ensure that you’ve prepared what’s been asked of you; don’t just show up to your interview and ‘wing it’. There will be several other candidates who will have prepared thoroughly so don’t give them a reason to choose them over you.
3. Answer some practice questions
If it’s been a while since your last interview, search online for some commonly asked interview questions to get you thinking about your answers. If your potential new employer has a Glassdoor profile, search for any interview experiences and reviews that have been left by previous candidates; this should give you an idea of the potential questions you might be asked.
Alternatively, if you’ve got any friends or family members who owe you a favour, see if they can spring a practice interview on you; this is a great exercise to see how well you can think on your feet and answer unexpected questions.
4. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
The moment when your interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” can leave your mind completely blank if you haven’t prepared.
It’s important to ask a couple of questions – it shows that you’re interested in the company and the role. Try to prepare 2-3 questions – if you’re stuck, try asking about the company’s future growth plans and what they want to achieve 5-10 years down the line. Alternatively, you could ask more questions about the culture and other aspects of the business that are often skipped over in an interview situation.
5. Plan your route in advance
There’s nothing worse than getting lost on your way to your interview; make sure you leave plenty of time for you to get there, allowing for any traffic or hiccups along the way.
Plan your route in advance and make sure that you know exactly where you’re going and who to ask for when you arrive at the business.
If you’re not familiar with the area where your interview is taking place, it’s a good idea to conduct a trial journey, if you have the time.
6. Dress appropriately
It’s important to dress smartly and appropriately for your interview. Even if the company has a laid back dress code, don’t show up to your interview wearing shorts and flip flops. You might not need to don a suit, especially if you don’t feel comfortable in one, but it’s important to look professional and, most importantly, feel confident.
Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and stain free; check your planned outfit the night before to avoid any last minute panics.
Not only will a smart appearance make a good impression on your potential new employer but it will also ensure that you feel confident and ready to nail your interview.
7. Get a good night’s sleep
One of the simplest but most important things you can do before your interview is to get a good sleep. No matter how much you prepare, a bad sleep can be seriously detrimental and can leave you feeling distracted, irritable and not ready.
Make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable hour before your interview so that you can wake up fresh and ready to tackle any task that’s thrown at you.
8. Have a good breakfast
Don’t attend your interview on an empty stomach. Try to have something filling for breakfast, such as porridge or eggs, to ensure that your stomach isn’t rumbling and your mind is focused.
However, if you’ve eaten anything strong smelling, such as garlic or onion, before your interview, make sure you brush your teeth to get rid of the odour!
9. Have confidence
You’ve done everything you can – make sure you walk into the building with a smile on your face and confidence in your own abilities. Good luck!