Updated: Aug 4, 2019
As Benjamin Franklin once said – ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ Solid preparation will not only increase your chances of success during an interview but will also help to alleviate nerves and increase confidence. More often than not you only get one chance at an interview so invest some time and effort into your preparation and reap the rewards.
Understand The Role Having a thorough understanding of the role and its requirements will give you an insight into not only the types of questions which may be asked, but also the type of employee they are seeking. Review each of the key responsibilities / criteria and identify examples from your career history where you have demonstrated these skills.
Research The Company Interviewers want to feel that you have prepared as it shows your commitment to the job. One of the key ways to achieve this is to be knowledgeable about the company you are interviewing with. Look at their website, read articles or news media about them, google them, research their employees on LinkedIn, check out Glassdoor and ideally, speak to people who already work there. This research often proves invaluable during an interview and should not be underestimated.
Work Out The Logistics Where is the interview being held, how will you get there, is there parking, what are the public transport times, what is the weather forecast, will you need an umbrella? These are just a few of the logistics to consider to ensure you turn up on time (also known as 10-15 minutes early). Plan in advance what you will wear and lay it out the night before. The idea here is to avoid stress and rushes on the day of your interview.
Things To Take Along It’s not just about turning up on time, it is also recommended that you take along appropriate documents to the interview. These can include - copies of your resume and cover letter, the job advert or position description, transcripts of relevant qualifications / training, and samples of your work or portfolio if relevant. You may not need them but better to have them available if required. Be sure to carry them in a smart folder, not scattered loosely in your bag.
Practice Common Questions There are a number of common questions which are regularly asked during an interview. Research these and think through your answers in advance. When practicing, have a friend or family member role play with you. It is also highly beneficial to voice record yourself on your phone delivering the answers and then listen back. This will allow you to pick up on any bad habits and highlight any missing information.
Prepare Questions For Them Preparing valuable questions for your interview can often be an overlooked part of the process.However it is a great opportunity to sell yourself and continue to impress your interviewers. By having well thought out, researched questions, you can exhibit your knowledge regarding the company and industry, and further engage your interviewers in a meaningful conversation.
Know Your Salary Expectation Salary can often come up as part of the interview. It is important that you have an understanding of the typical salary range for this type of role - you can gather this information fairly simply by looking at websites such as Seek or LinkedIn job to compare similar positions or through websites such as LiveSalary. Try not to commit to a single figure within the interview but instead offer, for example, a $10k to $20k range. This will allow room for negotiation if you are successful in gaining the position.
Turn Off Your Phone Before you even reach the building where your interview is being held, turn off your phone. Don’t look at your phone in the reception or whilst you are waiting to be greeted by your interviewers and don’t turn it back on until you are well out of the building.
Smile Ok, so not officially something you need to prepare but don’t underestimate the power of a genuine smile. Much of the interview process is about engaging and building a rapport with your interviewers. Smiling is such a simple yet effective way to build a natural relationship and win your interviewers over. Don’t over use it though, too much can come across as lacking confidence or even a bit creepy!
Follow Up The interview is over, you have thanked your interviewers for their time combined with a firm handshake and good eye contact. The next step is being prepared to follow up. Leave it a couple of days then if you haven’t heard from your interviewers, follow up with a short email or phone call to enquire about the outcome of the interview.
If you would like help preparing for an upcoming interview, assistance in overcoming nerves, or an opportunity to practice and refine your answers including discussion of tried and tested answering techniques, then please get in touch. Blue Sky Career Consulting offers a 1.5 hour tailored Interview Coaching session that will help you gain confidence, feel prepared and be interview ready.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Blue Sky Career Consulting on 0434 427 255.