First things first, make sure you are prepared. This is so important to allow you to be your best on the day of your interview. With the right preparation, you should be at least slightly relaxed, knowing you’ve given it your all. Here are my top tips on how to be best prepared for an interview and armed with the right mindset.
By Ben Farrin
1) As I mentioned in my previous article (about landing your dream job), make sure you do a bit of background check on the company you are applying to join! It is so obvious and not a good look when an interviewee tries to blag their way through the question “what do you know about us?”. So, spend some time visiting the company’s website, searching their socials (they will have searched yours!) and just being able to give a reasonable answer to the question – I doubt the interviewer will mind if you don’t nail it, but at least having checked them out online shows you’ve gone to the effort. And if they don’t ask it, you still have the understanding of the organisation which should bolster your confidence. This might also lead onto my next point….
2) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Obviously, see how things go, because you will no doubt be able to ask questions at the end, but if the timing seems right, and you’re on a topical subject you’d like to explore a little further, why not ask? The interviewer is checking if you are the right person for the job. You should also be checking that the job and company is the right fit for you!
3) Take water with you for two reasons, obviously to keep hydrated but it’s also a wise move to have a sip of water after being asked a question, should you need to think for a few seconds before answering. Listen to the question, and give a concise and clear answer.
4) Make sure if your interview has an allocated time, to be able to get across in that time what you set out to. For example, if the interview is 30 minutes, and you have two questions and some work you wish to present, try to plan ahead to make sure you can fit it all in whilst giving the interviewer enough time to ask their questions!
5) Never turn up late! And also, don’t arrive too early! 15 minutes early is in my opinion, the earliest you should arrive. Make sure you know where the place is. Check out the location on Google maps, arrange your transport plans, and if it’s local take a test trip and time it! You don’t want any unforeseen slip ups on the day.
6) Try to be yourself whilst also showing professionalism and enthusiasm for the role. Make sure you understand the role and requirements. Sometimes jobs do and sometimes don’t offer progression opportunities, and you might be being interviewed by your potential manager, so saying you want progression, if the job doesn’t offer it might mean you want their job. So just understand the situation and opportunity to avoid any embarrassing or awkward moments.
7) Turn off your mobile phone!
8) Have a positive mindset. Whether it’s raining and miserable or you couldn’t find parking (shouldn’t be an issue if you follow point 5 above), just leave the negativity at home. Think positive. Be positive. Be confident but not arrogant. Be armed with enough background on the company, be prepared with what you want to ask, and communicate effectively why you are the right person for the role.
9) Look the part, feel the part, and leave no doubt in your interviewer’s mind that you are the person for the job!