10 Tips for Preparing for an Interview

10 Tips for Preparing for an Interview

If you've been offered a job interview, you can't walk in without preparation. Interviews require you to consider what the role asks of you. You must rehearse how to pitch your qualifications and experience. Here are 10 tips to prepare you for an interview.

Consider WHY You're Interviewing

Before you meet your interviewer, ask yourself why you want this job. What about the role or the company appeals to you? This is essential to your interview preparation. Truly align your values to the responsibilities of the role. Figure out how it applies to you now and how it can contribute to your future career goals. Once you've been honest with yourself about why you're taking the interview, the process should run smoother.

Research the Company

It's important to research the company you've applied to before you speak to an interviewer. Understand the company values and the product or service. Get an idea of the company culture to ensure you're fit for the role and to understand how you should communicate with the recruitment team. Being well - researched will also provide context for interview questions.

Prepare for Common Interview Questions

In an interview, you will be asked questions. Some will be company - specific, but others more general and common. Though you can't anticipate how the conversation will flow, you can prepare for standard interview questions. Here are some examples of common interview questions:

  • How do you work in a team?
  • Describe a stressful situation you experienced in a previous role and how you dealt with it.
  • What have you achieved in a previous role that you're proudest of?

There are plenty of online resources to prepare you for standard interview questions including example lists and YouTube videos.

Identify Your Blind Spots

Everyone has characteristics they're not aware of. That is why they're called blind spots - you don't know them about yourself. Rehearse a few anticipated interview questions with family or friends. Ask for honest advice. Have them identify any physical or verbal tics that you may not be aware of. Remember, everyone has had an interview before - rehearsing isn't embarrassing for interview preparation.

Don't Come Empty - Handed

You don't want to arrive at an interview empty - handed. Prepare a few copies of your resume beforehand. You may be interacting with someone you haven't before and it's possible they haven't seen a physical copy. Make sure you're familiar with it in case they ask questions based on the information on it. If you're in the creative industry, having your portfolio on hand is a must. You can also bring a pen and paper to write notes. This demonstrates that you're listening and seriously invested in the conversation.

Be Enthusiastic

Don't hesitate before your interview. Approach it with enthusiasm and positivity. Present yourself with good body posture and plenty of eye contact. Explain exactly what excites you about the opportunity. Speak with positivity, even when discussing past work experiences that may have left a sour taste. Answer questions with confidence and don't let your nervousness run the show.

Know Your Pitch

Remember - if you're interviewing, then you think you're ready for the job. Don't be modest. Interviews are the perfect time to talk about yourself. Without being arrogant, talk up your qualities and past achievements to demonstrate why they should consider you. Be clear on what you can offer the employer. Prepare a short pitch that describes how your experiences can benefit the company now and in the future.

Prepare Questions

Interviews need to know that you've researched the company and are seriously interested. Preparing some insightful questions demonstrates just that. Even if you've had a thorough briefing of the role and the company and you feel like you have no questions left-ask questions. Here are a few examples that likely won't be touched on but express interest.

  • What does the career path for somebody in this position look like?
  • How is performance measured in this role?
  • What has been lacking in others in this role previously?

Consider your Appearance

It may not seem like something worth mentioning, but appearance DOES matter. A clean and neat presentation demonstrates that you didn't roll out of bed and leave the house at the last minute. Subconsciously, our minds make first impressions based on how someone looks and how they greet us. Plan your outfit in advance and ensure it is wrinkle and stain free. If even if you're certain it's hanging in the wardrobe ready-check in advance! If you don't know how formal to go, check the company's recent posts on social media to see what colleagues have worn.

Prepare Travel Arrangements

Whatever you do, don't be late for your interview. This tip is crucial. Leave early. Don't take any chances, even if you've taken the same bus or train a million times before. Save the interviewer's contact details in case of something out of your control, such as traffic accidents. Use Google Street View to familiarize yourself with the location in case it's tricky to find. Arrive early to demonstrate reliability.

Interviews are, of course, an essential stepping stone in a job search. It is vital to come prepared. You may not land the first job you interview for, nor the first five. Don't let this deter you, as the job search can be long and difficult. Each interview is a learning experience-be sure to prepare for it well.

Written by Career Specialist Jan 19, 2023
Supercharge Your Job Search
Create an account to save and apply for jobs and enjoy many other benefits.

Other Articles About Interview Help

Job interviews are a crucial part of the job application process. Getting a job interview invite can feel like the scariest thing.
In the past few years, more companies switched to online interviews for their hiring process. About 86% of companies practice virtual interviews, which will most likely increase.
Making good decisions is a crucial life skill. You can use it in your professional and personal life.
Employers are always looking for someone qualified for their open position. They want to support their employees and keep them around for a long time.