Interview Preparation Tips
For some individuals attending a job interview can be a daunting prospect, but a little bit of preparation can go a long way. If you are attending an interview through Premier Work Support, allow us to prepare you for interview. If not, then check out the following steps to help you prepare for success.
STEP 1: Do your research
About The Company
Ensure you research the company. Check their website and learn about
- What they do? What their main product or service is?
- What is their history? when were they established? Where else are they based?
- What are their core values and goals?
Use this information to show the interviewer you have done your research and to explain how you feel you would be a good fit.
About The Job
Ensure you have a full understanding of the role that you are applying for. Read the job description and/or Job Specification
- What are the main duties?
- What are the skills and abilites required?
- What strenghts are required?
Use this information to explain how your personal qualities would match what is required
Give some thought to replies to common questions such as:
- Why do you want this job?
- What are your strenghts and weaknesses?
Think about how you would apply previous job experience to the job on offer – be prepared to provide examples
Take a along a copy of your C.V to refer back to.if required. If it becomes the focus of the conversation, you'll be ready to talk about your experience, achievements and qualifications.
Take along to the interview any hard evidence of previous accomplishments i.e. Certificates of Achievements, League Tables etc.
STEP 2: Plan your route so you arrive on time
Write down the address, work out how you’re going to get there and, if you can, do a practice run. Aim to arrive 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
STEP 3: Dress appropriately
First impressions count. Good presentation is essential, dress professional and ‘business like’ regardless of the type of company you are approaching. Whether male or female if possible - opt for a dark coloured suit, white blouse/white shirt and tie. Hands, hair, make-up and jewellery should be kept simple and to a minimum.
STEP 4: Listen Carefully
A good interviewer will not only establish your competence, they will also assess your compatability. Listen to the questions asked, and answer fully using past experience and situations as evidence that you are right for the job.
If you did not hear the question or did not fully understand the question – do not panic. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification,e.g “I’m sorry I did not quite hear / understand that, would you mind repeating that question again”. It is far better to do this, than to ‘bluff’ your way through an answer!
STEP 5: Don’t get caught out!
The interviewer may ask you some questions designed to catch you out with regards to your relationships with past employers. Never critisise any past or current employer, other people or other companies – it makes you look unprofessional.
You may also be questioned about gaps in your career history, so be prepared to explain what you were doing, providing positive examples of how you spent your time.
Never lie in a job interview. It’s very easy to get caught out.
STEP 6: Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Usually the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions that you wish to ask, this will more than likely be towards the end of the interview. The worst response would be to state that you cant think of anything!
Prepare some ‘stretching’ questions to ask, ensuring that they are not all totally about the money or benefits - e.g. - What would you see as my biggest challenge if I were successful within this role?
STEP 7: Depart the interview on a note professional note
Ensure you do not let your guard down yet! You want the interviewer to remember you positively. Thank them for their time and consideration.
If you are genuinely interested in the position, it is important to convey this to the interviewer before leaving. For example, “This position sounds extremely interesting” or “I appreciate you may have other applicants to see, but at this stage I would be more than happy to attend a second interview if offerred”
Tell the interviewer that you look forward to the opportunity of meeting them again. Shake their hand and leave.
If you are being accompanied by the interviewer on the way out of the premises, keep small talk professional.