Dreading your upcoming interview? If you’ve ever had to do a presentation or give a class, you’ll be familiar with various sayings that argue, as Miguel de Cervantes once did, that “to be prepared is half the victory”.
Everybody’s different, and there’s a definite school of thought which says that it’s better to be spontaneous in an interview than over-rehearsed. Whatever your style, however, there’s some preparation you can do to beforehand which will clearly help you succeed when you’re up before the panel.
Tactics for interview preparation
Research the interview route/venue and arrive on time
Find out where your interview is and work out a clear plan of how you’re going to get there to eliminate any nasty surprises on the day. If your interview will take place in a public building, or a restaurant, you might even like to go and take a look round beforehand – the familiarity will put you at your ease. If you have any doubts as to how much time you should leave to get to your interview, always err on the side of caution. Extra stress is the last thing you need, so make life easy for yourself.
Research the company and your interviewers
Get busy on Google and find out all the information you can about your prospective company and interviewers. If they have their own website, this is a good way to find out what the company’s official line is and get an idea of the company culture. If you have an idea of who will be interviewing you, a quick search on LinkedIn can give you valuable information about their professional interests.
Think of some answers to common interview questions
Although you certainly shouldn’t over-prepare, it’s nonetheless a good idea to have a quick think about the kind of questions that are likely to come up. Most employers will ask similar things at one point or another – check out our list of 15 key job interview questions to find out what
Prepare any questions you’d like to ask at your interview
Not only does asking questions make you look more interested in the job, this might be your only opportunity to find out information you need to know. It might even be a good idea to jot a few questions down in a notebook to take with you. And yes, it is ok (and actually quite important) to ask about salary, although make sure you ask about other things as well.
Hit the printer
A spare copy of your CV is frequently asked for, and there’s nothing better than smugly pulling out a pristine colour copy for everyone in the room. You might also like to print out the original job advert you applied to, so you can quickly remind yourself what your employers will be looking for while you’re waiting. If you’re applying for a job that involves being creative in some way, you might like to print out a few samples of your previous work or create a mini-portfolio.
Dress the part
Your future employees might be not be too concerned about details such as a dress code. Without knowing this for a fact, however, it’s best to go into your interview looking professional and well-groomed. Not only will this give off a good impression, looking sharp will give you a confidence boost, too. Don’t worry, you don’t need to break the bank to do so – take a look at our article on dressing for an interview on a budget to find out how.
Best of luck in your interview!
Image: Microphone by SparkCBC.