Preparing for a job interview can be both daunting and overwhelming in equal measure due to the uncertainty of the process and the questions that may be asked. However, you are very much in the driving seat and the outcome of the interview will depend on how much or how little you prepare for it.
Even though you are the one being interviewed, and this is a chance for the employer to see if you are the right fit for the job, remember that this is also your chance to see if the company and role are the right fit for you, so don’t miss the opportunity to also ask lots of questions.
Here are some of our top tips to help you prepare for each stage of your next interview, from preparation and research to after the interview.
Analyse the job description and be clear on the skills and qualities the employer is looking for.
Do your research, including:
o The company -you need to show that you understand the business beyond the basics. What sector does it operate in? What challenges does it face? Who are its competitors?
o The role- it's vital that you can explain why you want the job, that you understand the role and, even more importantly, why the employer should choose you over other candidates.
o The interview panel- try to find out who will be interviewing you. The email inviting you to the interview may include this and this may help you to connect with your interviewers and create a positive impression.
Practice common interview questions, such as: Why do you want this job? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Prepare questions you’d like to ask, such as: What's a typical day like for a person in this position? What's your favourite thing about working for this company? What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Use the STAR method to answer questions:
o Situation: Briefly lay out the scenario using just enough detail that the interviewer will understand the stakes and everything else in your answer.
o Task: Talk about what your role in the situation was.
o Action: Discuss what you did and why.
o Result: Tell your interviewer about the outcome and what you learned.
Wear appropriate clothing. What you'll be expected to wear depends on factors such as the size of the company, the industry it operates in and the culture it promotes. For example, a small creative agency may have different standards to a major accountancy firm. If you're unsure on the dress code, ask before attending the interview. The key point to remember is that it's better to be too smart than too casual.
Make a good impression, by doing the following:
o Be punctual - arriving late will increase your stress levels and give the employer a bad first impression, so do your best to arrive in good time.
o Be positive and enthusiastic - be polite and professional with any staff you meet before or after the interview and respond to questions with positive statements.
o Have good body language - give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after the session. Throughout the interview, remember to smile frequently and maintain eye contact.
o Be clear - answer all questions clearly and concisely, evidencing your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. When answering, don't speak too quickly.
After the interview
Follow up afterwards, thanking the interviewers for their time and the opportunity.
If you aren’t successful, try to be positive, ask for feedback on your interview and reflect on what you could do to improve next time.
If you are successful, well done, and good luck in your new role!
We can also help you prepare for your interview; please contact us on 01908 616184 we would love to hear from you
Check out our current vacancies here https://www.wsrs.co.uk/jobs