Interview Preparation Tips
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Interview preparation tips

The interview process is designed to challenge you, to assess your skills, experience and enthusiasm for a role. Because of this, it is a nerve-wracking experience for most candidates, so it pays to be prepared.

The interview process is designed to assess your skills, experience and enthusiasm. It’s also designed to challenge you – all the more reason to be prepared.

Check out these tips on preparation and technique as well as how to deal with telephone and video interviews – all designed to get you ready.

General advice

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

  • Have a good breakfast on the morning of your interview – brain food!

  • Plan and/or practice your journey.

  • Aim to arrive 15-20 minutes before the interview.

Preparation and practice are the keys

Knowing all the can about the company is essential. Research it thoroughly, be familiar with their website and social media channels. Make sure you know exactly what the company wants in a candidate and be ready to show why you’re a great fit for the role. If possible, research the interviewer to get a better idea of their perspective on the role.

Top tip: LinkedIn can be a great tool for learning about the company as well as the interviewer.

First impressions count big

Research shows that people form an opinion of another within ten to thirty seconds of first meeting them. Be aware of body language. Dress appropriately. And if you’re not sure, wear a suit. (Better to look too smart than too casual).

Top tip: Bring a notebook and pen to the interview. It shows you’re prepared, detailed – and keen.

Prepare your questions in advance

It’s essential to ask questions during the interview process. Show your interest in the company and engage with your interviewer. Be enthusiastic and ask about such topics as:

  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?

  • What plans do you have for the business?

  • What projects are coming up soon?

  • What do you like best about working for this company?

  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

It's not all face to face anymore

COVID-19 is affecting the way businesses recruit these days. While a small number still hold face-to-face interviews, more and more organizations are unlikely to do so until social distancing restrictions come to an end. It’s more important than ever to hone your telephone and video interview skills.

  • Know the format: It’s vital that you know what format the video interview will take, live or pre-recorded. Live interviews are similar to the face-to-face format. You’ll speak in real time to your interviewer(s) over a video connection. This allows employers to recreate the traditional interview format without the need for travel – so they can recruit from anywhere in the world. Try to treat the conversation as if you were sitting in the employer’s office and build a rapport with the people you’re talking with. Pre-recorded interviews are less personal. You’ll be given pre-recorded or written questions on screen, with time to respond on video. There could be a time limit. This approach helps employers with lots of candidates – but it can be awkward for you if you’re not used to recording yourself. The answer: Practice! You’ll quickly get used to it – and on the plus side, you can arrange your interview time flexibly.

  • Show your best side: Even though you’re at home, you’re expected to give a professional first impression. Dress appropriately. Choose a quiet location away from disturbances. Tidy up the background to avoid distractions. Make use of a soft, front-facing light source (window or shaded lamp) so people can see you clearly.

  • Test the tech: A few days before the interview, do a “dry run” of your computer, camera, mic and any software you’ve been asked to use. Test for clear picture and sound quality. On the day of the interview, make sure everything is fully charged and/or plugged in.

people preparing at work

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