How to prepare for a job interview (in 8 easy steps)
Published on 21st November 2017
So a little birdie told me you’ve got an interview lined up...congratulations!
Now freaking out about how to best prepare? Fret not. With these top tips you’ll be ready for what they’ve got to throw at you.
Tip 1: Research, research, research.
- The company
Annual reports, business plans, news, press releases and social media channels are great place to start. And you’d be kidding yourself if you head to an interview without reading their “about us” page. Find out: What makes this company different to others? What’s their communications approach? What are their values, vision & ethos? How does this align with you and your ambitions?
- Your interviewers
Linkedin is your friend here. Find out: Where have they previously worked? What’s their current role? What creative things do they enjoy?
- The industry
This is your chance to show off commercial awareness. Find out: What are the current sector challenges? Have there been any recent developments?
Tip 2: Know your CV and application inside out.
- Come ready to talk about any experience that might stand out to the employer (and any potential gaps).
- Chat to people close to you. They might spot things that you don’t consider a big deal but could be relevant.
- Have your application fresh in your mind so you’re ready to go further into detail with key examples and motivations.
Tip 3: Play the matchmaker.
- Print out the person specification and job description and write down at least two specific examples which relate to each point. Show that you have the relevant knowledge, experience and personal qualities. If you are talking about a team effort, think about exactly how you contributed.
Tip 4: Make CAR your best friend.
Structure all of your examples using the CAR model:
First write when, what, where, how and why this situation was and who was involved.
Then write down specifically what you did and how you applied your knowledge.
Finally think about your learning outcome – the more specific or quantifiable the better.
Tip 5: Anticipate and Ask.
- Make sure you really understand the requirements of the job to help you predict the types of questions you may get asked. The questions could be competency-based, strength-based, technical, motivational or creative.
- Write down 3-4 questions you want to ask your interviewers. This is your chance to be a bit more creative and show you have initiative (there’s nothing worse than the awkward silence at the end of an interview!)
Tip 6: Practice makes perfect.
- Get honest feedback before the ‘real deal’ by doing a mock interview with your friends or family.
Tip 7: Plan ahead.
- Lateness is the first cardinal sin of a job interview. If you can, do a ‘test run’ to the interview venue to see how long the journey takes. Make sure you give plenty of leeway for traffic, train delays and other last-minute emergencies.
- The day before: get your ‘power outfit’ ready, make a note of a contact number in case of delays, avoid any kind of nightcap and, most of all, rest up.
Tip 8: Be positive.
- Keep a clear, positive mind to help you walk into your interview with confidence.
So, there you have it! Eight job interview tips that will help you be as ready as you can be. Let us know how they work out for you.
Header image courtesy of Bram Naus
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