Interviews are an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism to a prospective employer and communicate your interest in joining their company, so it’s important that you do your best. In order to give a good impression and convince the company to employ you over other candidates, it is crucial that you prepare thoroughly in advance.
Before attending an interview, we recommend that you carry out the following steps:
- Research the company thoroughly. You can carry out extensive desktop research using the Internet, recent newspaper or news articles, reading advertising literature and by researching financial reports where possible. It is also a good idea to try to understand who the company’s main competitors are and to familiarise yourself with the markets in which it operates.
- Familiarise yourself with the job description. This may seem an obvious statement, but it is crucial that you know exactly what the job you’re applying for entails. Some idea of the company structure and culture is also helpful.
- Prepare your questions in advance: The interview only lasts a limited time so it’s worth anticipating what you might be asked beforehand and preparing some strong responses. You should also consider what you want to ask the interviewer about the job.
- Be familiar with your CV (it is a good idea to take 2 copies with you) and consider what questions you may be asked about it. For example, for a sales position, you may be asked about your style and what makes you successful, or your targets and what you have achieved. You might also be asked about how you have dealt with problems in the work place, so prepare positive and confident responses.
- On the day of the interview, ensure that your preparation is complete. Make sure you arrive looking professional and well presented, whatever the company dress code. Make sure that you are familiar with the location of the interview and that you have allowed enough time to get there promptly. It might be a good idea to try the journey out before the day itself. Aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to allow yourself to relax and focus on the interview.
- After the interview, it is a good idea to ask the interviewer if they have any further questions and find out what the next stage will be. Always thank the interviewer for their time.
Remember the 5 ‘P’s: