Preparing for a job interview
A job interview is an opportunity for you to demonstrate you are the right candidate for a job. Interviews also allow you to gain a greater understanding of the job you have applied for. Some interviews are very formal and follow set processes, whereas others may be informal. Job interviews can take place face to face, but may also be via video call or over the phone.
Regardless of the interview format and style, it is essential you make a good impression. Below are some preparation tips to ensure you put your best foot forward at your next job interview:
Research, research, research!
Prior to your interview, it is important to undertake some research on the organisation you are hoping to be employed by. This will assist you when talking about the job in the interview, as well as show you are interested in working for the organisation. Try some of the following online research to increase your knowledge:
- Go to the organisation’s website and read up on what they do. It is also probably a good idea to know ‘who’s who’ at the organisation, so make sure you know who the senior management are, including the owner of the business or the CEO.
- Conduct an online search on the organisation and find out what others are saying about them, including any articles in the mainstream media.
Re-examine your job application information
Go back to your CV, your covering letter and the job description for the role. Study them and make sure you can answer questions about them during the interview. This is particularly important if you have applied for a number of roles and can’t quite remember what you wrote and the specifics of the job.
Prepare and practice your responses
During the job interview, you will be asked a series of questions as part of the recruitment process. This may include questions on:
- Your previous working experience
- Your qualifications and training
- Why you want the job and/or to work for the organisation
- How you would act in certain work situations
- Your salary expectations.
Before the interview, brainstorm how you would answer some of these questions, develop your responses and practice these out loud. The more prepared you are before the interview, the better you will perform in it!
First impressions count
If your job interview is face to face or via a video call, it is important to think about your appearance. You should be well-groomed, tidy and in most cases, wear professional or business attire to present your best self.
If you are doing an interview via video call, you should also consider what you will look like to the person who is interviewing you. In particular, think about the setting you are doing the interview in. Ideally it should be indoors, in a well-lit room and away from other people or distractions such as a TV or pets. The area behind you should be tidy and unremarkable, so remove any art work or posters that may be considered offensive or provocative.
Prepare your own questions
Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions. This is an opportunity to find out more about the role and to demonstrate you are genuinely interested in the organisation and the position. Make sure you go to the interview with some pre-prepared questions. Some example questions are:
- Can you tell me a little bit more about the work culture and the team I will be working with?
- What does the company look for in employees?
- What do people enjoy most about working here?
Be on time
Punctuality is very important! It is essential you are on time for your interview. If your interview is face to face, then make sure you plan your travel to ensure you arrive approximately 10 -15 minutes before the interview commences.
If you have an interview by video call or over the phone, make sure you have all the details about the call beforehand, including the phone number to call, any links and passwords. It is a good idea to be ready in front of your laptop or with the phone in your hand, at least 5 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
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