Your CV won them over and now it’s time to meet face to face. The interview anxiety is kicking in and your imposter syndrome might even be creeping up. That’s why it’s important to walk into the room or log into the call, feeling prepared. You can’t control anything outside of this, so get prepped and be ready to show your best self.
Here are 8 ways to prepare for an interview:
- Research the company: So often I hear from employers that the candidate failed at the interview because they didn’t do their research. You need to know as much as possible about the company. Read their website, blogs, whitepapers and social media posts. Check out GlassDoor to see what past employees have said. See if they have any Google reviews. Head over to LinkedIn and make sure you are following the company and the person who’s interviewing you. How long have they been at the company? What team are they on? You might find some great questions to ask in the interview and you can show off not only your dedication to the role but your great detective skills.
- Use STAR responses: situation, task, actions, results. This strategy is really helpful when it comes to competency questions that you’re likely to be asked in your interview. Competency questions are things like: share a time when you managed a major project or describe a time when you overcame adversity at work. Your answer might look something like this:
- Situation: we needed to move to a new office.
- Task: I had to oversee the packing, removals, setting up IT etc.
- Action: I created an in-depth project timeline to make sure everything was prepared in advance and the right suppliers were commissioned.
- Result: We had completely relocated in less than 24hrs with the team, meaning we didn’t have to shut the business down at all.
- Film yourself: I know this might feel very cringe-worthy but filming yourself answering interview questions using the STAR responses will help. You’ll be able to see any mannerisms or nervous ticks you might have and work on them before the real event.
- Know your worth: You need to know what makes you special and what you will bring to the company. If you struggle to think of these, speak to past bosses and colleagues and see what they say. You can also use this free skills survey that takes 15 minutes.
- What impact will I make: Like knowing your worth, you also need to know what impact you will have on the company. When you did your research was there a particular area that you felt you could help improve? Use the examples from your competency questions to show the impact you’ve had on past businesses that you could apply here.
- Prepare questions: this is another one that employers often say that candidates fail at. They’ve prepared everything else, done their research and shown their worth. Then when the tables are turned and they’re asked to ask questions, they freeze. Come prepared with your questions. Here are a few you can use:
- I’d like to understand why you joined the firm
- what makes someone successful in this org
- what are the main challenges the organisation faces
- how can I make a positive impact in the next 6 months?
- What is your weakness: do not, I repeat, do not say that you’re a perfectionist. It’s so cliche and transparent. Instead, think of a non-critical challenge that you’ve faced that you’ve already begun working on. For example, you might struggle to understand the commercial side of the business. But, you are now taking classes and reading up on this to get a better knowledge base so you can serve your organisation better.
- Follow-up: Manners cost nothing. Open and close your interview by saying thank you. After all, this person has taken the time to meet you. Then a few hours after the interview send an email thanking them for their time. If you don’t hear back from them don’t sweat it. You’ve kept your integrity and that’s what counts.
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