Interview preparation in five steps
“I’ve got an important interview coming up. What should I do to prepare for it?” Interview nerves? There’s no need to panic if you follow Leading Figures’ action plan.
1. Start by researching the organisation and the role
The organisation’s website is a natural starting point. Check out, for example, their About Us, Careers and News pages for up-to-date information that might arm you for the interview. Blogs and YouTube clips from key personnel may provide deeper insight into the organisation and its culture.
You can also supplement your knowledge with pointers from people you know who work (or have worked) there. Researching your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile is a subtle way of letting them know you’ve been doing your homework – but don’t send them a connection request just yet!
Revisit the job description (if there is one) and match your strengths/weaknesses against each component so that you can bridge any glaring gaps during the interview.
2. Review your interactions with the organisation to date
You may be asked something that you referred to in your initial application(s) so make sure you re-read it to remind yourself what you wrote. If you’ve attended prior stage interviews or assessments, you may be asked what you learned from them.
3. Prepare for the interview questions
Write down 10 to 12 tough questions, from those you would prefer not to be asked to simple but searching questions such as “Why do you want to work here?”
Rehearse your responses and then ask someone in your support network to simulate the interview with you, after they’ve also familiarised themselves with the organisation. This will leave you better prepared and (with practice) more confident. Be concise and, without being contrived, provide a link to your skills, experience or reason for joining the organisation.
You may be given the opportunity to ask any questions, which are worth preparing in advance.
4. Look the part
Corporate wardrobes can range from casual for firms with dress-down policies to more conventional business attire. Speak to your recruitment consultant, do your homework and dress appropriately.
5. Check your mindset
Enthusiasm for the organisation and the role can be a defining factor. Faced with two strong candidates, an interviewer is more likely to select the candidate who demonstrates a genuine desire to work for the organisation. This isn’t a time to hide your light under a bushel.
Don’t overdo it, but be positive. Remember that you are choosing the organisation as much as the interviewer is choosing you. This can be a powerful thought to keep in mind.
Finally, ensure that you know where the interview is being held and plan your journey with one eye on the weather. Arrive in good time. Breathe deeply and draw confidence from your meticulous preparation.