The key to doing well at an interview is preparation. If you nail the preparation, the rest should flow pretty smoothly. It is not rocket science but it is an area so many people do not excel at. If you follow our general rules, you should be able to prepare effectively for your next interview:
Thoroughly research the company, interviewer, the role and the industry beforehand.
- Company – Find out all you can about the company, the culture, how it works and what it specialises in.
- Interviewer – know all you can about your interviewer. A quick Google search should bring up their LinkedIn, relevant news and, if you’re lucky, their Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
- The Role – find out, if you can, what the previous person in that role achieved. Also find out what people with that role in that industry do.
- The Industry – read up on current industry trends and do not open yourself up for potential embarrassment by relying on old knowledge. Make sure you have a keen handle on any significant news stories which have broken within the past month.
Find Out About the Interview Format
Some companies will tell you, in advance, what the structure of the interview will be e.g. five minute interview with the Head of Sales followed by 10 minutes with the CEO. If they do no voluntarily provide this information, it is always good to ask in advance so that you know exactly what to prepare for.
Practise answering questions out loud
The best way to improve your authority and composure is to record yourself answering difficult questions. Questions people usually struggle with are, “Tell me about yourself,” and “Why do you want this position?” Keep practising until you sound confident and natural.
Plan what you are going to wear
Even if you know what you are going to wear, you should probably try it on to make sure it fits and your shirt is clean. Having to make a last minute change to your dress wear can knock you off your game and lead to you not performing as well. Also remember to shave and or get a haircut. For more information, check out our post on how to dress for an interview.
Plan your journey
Make sure you know which route you will take in advance and make sure you are not surprised by planned closures to roads or public transport. Aim to arrive 10 minutes early so that you can get acquainted with the office and gain a quick insight into the company culture.