Preparation for an interview is a key process and will often be the difference between success and failure for applicants. Good preparation not only gives you an idea of what to expect but it will give you the all important confidence, which can carry you through.
Research the company
If you are invited to an interview you should spend some time researching the company. This will give you confidence should you be asked any question on what the company does. It will also allow you to ask the employer questions.
Identify the skills, interests and experiences that the organisation is looking for by looking at its website and social media channels.
Research the Role
You need to make sure you have fully understood the job description and know how it fits in to the overall company structure. It will also help you to recognise exactly what the employer is looking for.
Ask yourself what the key skills are that the job requires and think of examples of occasions when you have demonstrated those skills.
Make sure you find out what format the interview will take. Often they can be combinations of standard interviews and role-specific tests (such as role plays or psychometric questionnaires).
Finding out who will be interviewing you and researching their roles within the organisation will help to reduce surprises on the big day and you can look these up on the company website or try finding them on LinkedIn.
Finding out how long the interview is likely to last will give you an idea of how detailed the interview will be. You should also find out if you will have to take a test or make a presentation.
Plan your journey
Plan your journey in advance. Consider travelling to the company before the interview to check how long the journey will take. If necessary, ask the employer for directions, bus routes or details of where you can park your car. You should plan another way of getting there in case something unexpected happens (such as your car breaking down, or your train being cancelled).
Gather together the information you’ll need at the interview
Take items the employer has asked you to bring along - for example: certificates or your right to work documentation.
Re-read the job advert to refresh your memory and to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
On the day of the Interview
Take special care to dress appropriately. Deciding what to wear for the interview will depend on what sort of work you will be doing. Decide what to wear and get your clothes ready the day before. Aim for a neat, clean and tidy appearance, if you look good it will help you feel good.
Make sure you are punctual – try to arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled interview time. If you are going to be late for any reason then make sure you inform the interviewer as early as possible.