The key to a successful interview is all in the preparation. As the saying goes, ‘prior preparation prevents poor performance.’ Lucky for you, we’re sharing 10 tips to help you prepare so you can ace your interview with confidence.
1. Research the company
One of the most important things to do is research the company. Learn as much as you can about the organisation, who works there, their services, products, customers, competition, and anything else they have been involved in. If it’s possible to visit the location, such as a shop or restaurant, it’s always a good idea to do that before the interview.
You may be asked what you already know about the company, so this is the perfect opportunity to impress your interviewer with your knowledge and your eagerness to learn. It also shows initiative.
2. Prepare interview questions
Research common interview questions that are related to the role you are interviewing for. Make a list of at least ten questions. It is important to anticipate any questions they may ask so that you can answer confidently and not feel like you’re put on the spot.
3. Prepare your answers
Now that you’ve prepared the potential interview questions, it’s time to consider your answers, so you’re ready for the questions they may throw at you. Start by clarifying your selling points about yourself and the reason you want the job. They may start with standard interview questions focused on your skills, previous work experience, and why you want the job, however you should be prepared to answer more complex questions related to the role. For example, these could include practical examples of what you’ve done in your previous roles and how they relate to the role you’re applying for.
4. Ask questions at the end of the interview
Prepare questions for the interviewer that demonstrate how interested you are in the role and your knowledge of the company. You should have at least two questions ready to ask at the end of the interview. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and if the company is the right place for you. For example, these questions could be, “what is the best thing about working here?”, “can you describe the team culture?”, and “what do you see as the key to success in this role?”. You can also think of more questions as you learn more about the role during your interview.
5. Sell yourself
Throughout the interview, showcase why you are the ideal candidate for the job, why they should hire you, and what you can bring to the company. This is the time to talk about your accomplishments and your work ethic. Provide specific examples that highlight the valuable impact you have had in your previous roles and experiences.
6. Consider your body language
Your body language speaks a thousand words. Make eye contact, give a firm handshake, have a good posture, and try not to fiddle with your hands. Relax, breathe and smile. Positive body language shows confidence, which will help you perform better throughout the interview.
7. Stay calm and focused
While it’s normal for an interview process to make you feel nervous, do your best to stay calm and focused. The quality and delivery of your answers are important and staying focused will help you to communicate your answers effectively.
Often when we’re nervous we can find ourselves speaking faster than usual. Take some deep breaths and pace yourself. Remember, there is no need to rush your interview—take your time to formulate your answer and to allow the interviewer to get to know you.
8. Be a good listener
Good communication skills include being an active listener, which is why it is important to demonstrate this during the interview. Listen carefully to the interview questions to understand what the interviewer is asking of you. Throughout the interview, the interviewer will be giving you important information and it’s important to take this in as you go.
9. Practice, practice, practice.
Now that you have everything prepared for your interview, it is time to practice it a few more times. The best way to practice is with help from friends and family. They can pretend to be the interviewer asking you questions which will help you rehearse your answers properly. The more you practice your answers, the smoother and more articulate you’ll sound.
10. Dress the part
Make sure you dress to impress! If you’re needing some guidance, be sure to check out our blog on What to Wear to a Job Interview.
11. Be yourself
And lastly, but most importantly, be yourself! You were invited for an interview because they want to get to know you more. Everything you will tell them will be things you already know about yourself. This is the time to let yourself shine and be confident in knowing who you are and why you were picked by the interviewer.