Tips on How to Prepare For an Interview
- Job description
You ought to have received the job description before the interview. Ensure that you have a copy of it as a reference to glance at and assist you in keeping focused in the course of the interview.
- Company research
It is important for you to have adequate knowledge about the company you will be working for prior to attending the interview, and in some instances, even before applying for a job. To do this, find the company website via a search engine. Read as much as you can about the business there is usually an “About us” page which will be useful and there may also be more detailed pages about the factory you are going too. Make sure you read through reviews posted online and also use LinkedIn to learn as much as possible. Knowing facts and information regarding the performance of the company, for example if it has won awards or accolades for its efforts will impress the interviewers.
Make notes on things you need to remember and review this before you go in. Expect the question “What do you know about us?!”
- Your CV
If you are really looking to impress your interviewers, you should ensure that you carry along some copies of your CV to the interview 1 per interviewer plus a spare. This will definitely give the impression that you are an organised person. You can even give each interviewer his/her own copy – that is, if you are facing a panel of interviewers. Having a copy of your CV before you to make reference to while discussing your skills is perfectly acceptable.
Nowadays, after writing their CV, the majority of people tend to simply add the words ‘references available on request’ at the end. While this is perfectly in order, it is good to bring the details of your referees with you to the interview as this will not only display your organisation abilities but also save the interviewer time afterwards. Make sure you ask them not to contact them until after an offer. In addition, it will highlight your keenness to progress in the process. Ensure that the referees you provide are not your relatives and that you can depend on them to provide in-depth status of your skills and capabilities. Also, you will need to have printed copies of their contact details including their names, telephone number, plus an email address. It is good as well to bring along to the interview reference letters – if you have them.
- Pen and notepad
As silly as it might seem, having a pen and notepad shows your prospective employers your organisational abilities. It shows that you have thought ahead, and this speaks a lot in the interviewer’s mind. Besides, it avails you the chance to jot down questions you may possibly wish to ask, as well as make notes regarding the role.
You may as well take notes about things the interviewer tells you as this will make you look like a person who takes the role seriously. Besides, it will give the impression that you are the kind of person who thinks in advance in regards to what you can actually bring to the organisation and the role. There are particular positions that may demand that you answer tough questions hence you need note taking to help answer them smartly.
Sometimes interviewees go blank when asked if there is anything they would like to ask the interview panel. Being ready with questions will save you this embarrassment. It is important for you to ask your potential employers at least one question as it is an indication that you have actually thought not only about the position but also the future of the company. But among the questions you ask should not be the question about the pay package as it suggests that money is actually your main interest. The type of questions you ask will determine the judgements made about you.
Instead of asking about the wage and benefits, you need to really think and come up with smart questions that will show the way you can fit into the position you are seeking. The questions should show how you can support the company and what it is doing to grow and develop in the future. Here are three examples:
- What are your thoughts about me?
- Am I the sort of person you are looking for?
- Do you have any reservations?
- In which way will my position advance in the next three years?
- Is there any additional information about me that I can provide to clarify why you should employ me?
- In which way will my position contribute towards the company’s mission?
- Contact information and directions
There are several things which you can be in control of in the course of the interview. However, making your way to the place is not among them as traffic or public transport can mess you up. That is why you should not only plan in advance how you will get there but also ensure that you obtain the contact information of the person you are going to meet in the event that you need to get in touch with them for any reason. Get directions to the place in advance, and if possible, find your way there prior to the interview as this will allow you to be sure of the exact place you are headed to.
- Portfolio of work
It may be necessary for you to bring a portfolio along with some samples of your work. However, this will be determined by the position that you are applying for. You need to take into consideration the position’s medium; it is not appropriate to take printed work to either a digital agency or publication. As an alternative, you may host the portfolio online or furnish links to it, ensuring that you choose your best pieces. No one will be impressed by a whole back record of your work. In addition, you should be ready to discuss your work. This is important particularly if it is in a creative position, for instance design or architecture. For you to support your portfolio as well as demonstrate your aptitudes, it is advisable that you add some items, if necessary. They include:
- Client testimonials
- Company accolades
- Results of target achievement
- Folder or briefcase
Since you will be bringing along papers, it will be necessary for you to carry a folder or briefcase, arranging everything neatly so that you know where to find anything when you need to take it out. This is also important in ensuring that you don’t leave any document behind by mistake. It will show that you are actually both ready and organised on the day of the interview.
You need to have food as well as drink with you; a bottle of water is crucial in helping calm your nerves on the day of the interview. Even though it is good to freshen up your teeth, you should ensure that you dispose of chewing gum or any mints before the interview kicks off. All the notes you have taken or have been given in preparation of the interview will be handy, too. I will repeat that bit – do not chew gum in an interview.
You are now set and totally prepared; ensure you get a restful sleep the night before. Just relax since the hard part has been taken care of and you know you can walk over that interview and floor your competitors.