How to Prepare For a Job Interview

  • Career

Everyone gets nervous when it comes to job interviews. But the best way to overcome your job interview nerves is to prepare! Preparation allows you to gain a better understanding of the role you’re interviewing for, answer the interview questions to your best ability, and helps you head into the interview full of confidence.

Here are five things you can do before your next job interview to improve your job interview performance.

Prepare for a job interview

Clean up your online presence

If your potential employer searches for you are they going to find anything unprofessional? While Facebook and LinkedIn are the top two social networks of interest for most employers you should check what accounts are connected to your name or email address. Follow these steps to ensure that your online presence is squeaky clean:

  • Delete any questionable posts
  • Delete any questionable pictures
  • Choose a professional profile picture
  • Ensure that your social media profiles have the appropriate privacy settings on them
  • Post articles associated with your job industry where relevant
  • Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and professional

While not all employers are going to check through your social media accounts it’s worth having them looking professional in the case that they do.

Do your background research

Look to find out as much as possible about the company, the role, and the interview panel ahead of your interview:

Ahead of your interview you should check the company website; try to find their company values, recent achievements and strategic goals. You could also check their social media channels and if they have been featured in any new articles in the past few years,

The company

By researching the company you’re hoping to work for you should get a feel for the culture and overall vibe of the place. This research will help you tailor your interview answers to aline with the company ethos. In addition, this should help you to decide if this is a place you want to work.

The Role

Look through the job description and check that you understand fully what the role entails. You should expect at least a couple of interview questions to test your knowledge of the job responsibilities and how your experience has equipped you for this role.

the interview panel

Find out what the interview panels roles would be in relation to yours. If you’ll be talking to a CEO, they will likely be focused on the big picture. So, rather than sharing the responsibilities you had in your last role, talk about a few big results you can point to. However, if you’re been interviewed by your immediate supervisor, you should demonstrate why you’re the best person to tackle the day-to-day responsibilities of the position.

Practice Interview Questions

Look over the job description and person specification and note down examples of where you’ve proven your capability of the role requirements. Aim to have at least one example of how you meet each of the essential person specification.

Learn to structure your answers using the STAR technique. When answering an competency-based interview question start by describing a Situation, then the Task, the Action you took, and finish with the Result. Try to use examples that demonstrate the positive impact that you’ve had on an area (e.g. sales numbers, records, awards).

As well as the practising role specific questions, practise your answer to some common interview questions too. Here’s some example interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job?

You should also plan some questions to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview. Make sure that you don’t ask anything that could demonstrate a lack of understanding about the role or a general lack of professionalism.

Choose your interview outfit

Dress to impress and make sure that your interview outfit shows you in a good light. When considering how to dress for an interview choose clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident

Indeed also advises that you for stains, snags, pet hair and holes. Make sure it’s cleaned and ready a few days before your interview.

Tranen from Career Builder also warns against distracting the interviewer with strong perfumes, bright colours, heavy makeup or jewellery. You want the interview panel to notice how thoughtful your answers are, and not pay too much attention to your outfit.

Plan your journey

With the nerves and stress of interview day, the last thing that you want is to get lost or turn up late. Plan your journey from start to finish (including what time you need to set off) ahead of interview day and aim to be 15-20 minutes early.

Check the weather forecast and that their isn’t any scheduled road works; have a back up route in case of a road closure.

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