How To Prepare For A Job Interview
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit.
Do you have a job interview on your schedule? Taking the time to prepare for an interview in advance can help you ace the interview and secure a job offer. There are a number of steps you can take before (and after) the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression on your potential employer.
A study from JDP reports that applicants spend up to seven hours researching the company before their interview. Many candidates (64%) also research their interviewer. Because interviewing is often stressful, 70% of those surveyed practice their responses out loud, and 62% prepare anecdotes to share with the interviewer.
The job interview is probably the most important step you will take in your job search journey – it’s your best chance to show a hiring manager or recruitment company that you’re the best person for their job. It's a good idea to do at least one mock interview before the real thing.
Your university careers and employability service will help you to practice your interview technique. You can also write and practise answers to common interview questions with someone you trust – possibly even recording yourself and then reviewing your performance. It's also worth testing your telephone connection and making sure that your laptop, microphone and any other technical equipment you need are working and you know how to use them.
Preparing for the job interview can be one of the most stressful parts of the job search. Luckily, there are a number of tools and techniques to make this task easier. The key to any interview is being well prepared. It is important to write down, in advance, the answer to questions you are likely to be asked. This will help you focus your thoughts.
No matter how many you go on, job interviews can always be nerve-wracking. You put on your nicest clothes, print out your resume, and remind yourself to smile real big–and just when you think everything is going well, the interviewer hits you with a curveball question you aren’t prepared for. Luckily, you’re not going to let that happen again and you’re planning ahead to ace this month’s interview. The best way to do anything is to do your research ahead of time–which is why we’re here to help.
Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than Googling a list of common interview questions. You have to make a great first impression appearance-wise (no wrinkly suits here!), have a great knowledge of your target company and its product, and, of course, know exactly how to convey that you're the perfect fit for the job.
It’s been tough to concentrate on your grad school work because you’ve been waiting to hear about that job you applied for a few weeks ago. You finally heard back from the organization and are lucky enough to get an interview for that position. It’s a good opportunity and you want to do a great job on the interview. It doesn’t matter whether you have two days or two weeks before your interview.
Test Your Conversation Skills
We know you've probably been asked the interview questions before, but what if there are some that you are less sure of? There are several test scripts that you can use for general dialogue that will help you to work out what you would say. You could even use them for mock interviews and practise answering the interview questions. These can be downloaded from a number of sites such as Pen-Pal or Chat Works. You can also take advantage of online resources such as Face The Conversation or Glassdoor.
A week before your mock interview try recording yourself and playing it back. Also think about what you will say in the interview and practise how you would say it aloud. Your friend or family member might help you to rehearse some of the key parts of the interview.
Your CV contains a wealth of information that you will need to expand on during the interview, so don’t forget to prepare some questions that you can ask the interviewer or recruitment agent that can give you an insight into the company or department they represent. During the week leading up to your mock interview, be sure to prepare what you will say, what you will wear, and what you might like to eat during the lunch break.
What To Wear When You Work The Job Interview
Coffee and a croissant may be good before the big one, but an interview dress code can take you from “gorgeous and chic” to “ruined and haunted” in a heartbeat. So what should you wear? Neutral colours, a plain or tailored jacket or skirt, solid tights and sturdy flat shoes are sensible – but if you’re really going to impress an employer, you can add something a little more special: smart blouses with tailored jackets, team neck jumpers, and even pencil skirts are all great options.
Make sure you have several in your wardrobe, ready to put on and take off with ease at short notice. The same goes for make-up and accessories. If you’re planning to wear high heels, make sure they’re comfortable and appropriate for the interview venue.
It’s important to dress for success. Invest in a smart suit or a smart casual outfit and wear something that shows you’re competent and confident – that's a good indication of how likely you are to be a successful candidate for the job. There are lots of small details you can worry about in the job interview, from the speed of the printer to whether your prospective manager will be in a good mood that day. But make sure the job description is clear – don't tailor your suit, for example, to make yourself look more competent than the job entails.
Carefully Examine The Job Description
Before you go in for your interview, take time to look at the job description and the company website. Research the company and its website carefully. Are there any easy-to-find details on pay, working hours and facilities? Is the job open to graduates or postgraduates?
Is the department looking for people with a particular kind of experience? And, finally, what are the company's main strengths and weaknesses? One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is asking for too much or requesting information that is not needed.
Each company may have slightly different requirements. Make sure you understand each position and what is required of you. Make sure you compare the job requirements with your own skills and abilities, the employer's requirements and those you see listed in your profile.
Remember, you don't have to tick every box on a job application form! You will get more interviews if you are specific about the skills and experience you have that you can bring to the table. You don't want to be one of those candidates who gets an interview because they've listed “good communication skills” on their CV.
Consider Why You Are Interviewing And Your Qualifications
You'll probably be asked what you have to offer and what experience you have in your field. An important factor in your interview will be what kind of role you are applying for. It's a good idea to let the recruiter or hiring manager know what you’re looking for – an offer of employment might not materialize if you’re not being properly targeted.
Also, don’t let on if you have multiple offers of work in different fields – it may put you at a disadvantage if a company has to choose between you and someone with more relevant experience. The way to prepare for a job interview is to go over what skills and qualities you feel you have and highlight the ones that you feel are the most relevant to the job you are applying for.
If you’re applying for a role in an office, it is usually better to apply on paper rather than via the phone. However, if you are applying for a role in marketing or recruitment, it’s a good idea to apply by phone to ensure you are confident with the company culture and that you will fit in with their colleagues. You can often apply to jobs via the career centre or at one of the university career centres.
All jobs that you apply for through the university career service will be shown on the careers section of our website. However, job adverts might not all show you your results and references, so before you apply, make sure you check that the job listing includes your results. If it doesn’t include your results, then make sure that you ask the company to add them.
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Perform Research On The Company And Role
Ask your tutor for background information about the employer. They may also be able to help you source any company-specific information that you're lacking. You may be able to call the employer's HR department to get some background on the role, management and company culture.
Remember that recruitment is a competitive industry so don't let yourself be put off by finding no information about the company – make sure to ask lots of questions to make the job sound exciting and interesting. There may be a link between your supervisor and the role that you're applying for.
Make sure that you find out as much as you can about the person you're being interviewed with and their history in the company. Make sure you ask to speak to them as soon as possible after you've done the mock interview.
Before the interview, you need to get to know the company. Do some research about the company and the role that is to be filled and prepare a CV in detail that highlights how your experience and skills would add value to that role. The skills you will need to show at a job interview are the same as the skills that you will need to do the job for which you are applying.
These include your linguistic skills, problem-solving, research skills, critical thinking and teamwork. Some soft skills that will help you make a good impression on a potential employer are things such as your poise and confidence, your teamwork skills, communication, resilience and punctuality.
Consider Your Answers To Common Interview Questions
You've worked hard on your CV and the relevant online application forms, but you can do better with your answers to job interview questions. There are a number of research studies on effective interviewing techniques and one of them asks participants to list their weaknesses and their strengths, before going on to test their answers.
The researchers found that people who were encouraged to identify their strengths in the workplace were more likely to be successful. Most of us have been told at some point to ‘think on your feet' or to ‘don’t be a maverick' – but what does this actually mean? Essentially, it means that you should be ready to adapt your answers to the likely questions that you will be asked.
The trick is to come up with good answers to commonly asked interview questions – things like:
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why did you choose this job?
- What’s your biggest weakness?
- What makes you unique?
- Do you have any questions for the recruiter or company?
- What role do you see yourself fitting in best?
- Do you have any questions for us?
It’s important to check that your answers to these interview questions agree with the company’s values and requirements. Your employer or recruiter will want to know how much you know about the company before you start work.
Conduct Mock Interviews
Research the company you're hoping to work for and find out whether they currently have job vacancies that you could apply for. Consider the position and what you'd be required to do. Research the company's business, the type of job it requires, and the expected salary range. We recommend creating a list of jobs you're interested in applying for and then breaking them down into different levels and types, depending on your skills and experience.
List all your skills and experience on a mock CV or cover letter. Make sure to include as much information as possible so you can prove that you’re a suitable candidate for the job. Spend a few hours with a trusted friend or relative and ask them to help you practice your interview technique.
This will help you feel more comfortable with the process and also prevent you from failing to answer a question that you should have known the answer to, because you haven't rehearsed it. You'll also be able to tell if you are approaching any interview question too hastily. Mock interviews may seem daunting, but they don't have to be – they can be as easy as answering some simple questions, so get cracking!
Try to prepare an interview question, so you'll know exactly what to say when you're asked the interview question for real. Try to use phrases that will encourage the interviewee to talk more openly and find out more about what they do. Ask them about their current job, their goals and how they see the future of their work.
The most important part of an interview is to talk about your skills, expertise and value as a candidate. Don't be nervous or shy, just be confident and be yourself. Ask a question that the recruiter or HR manager can answer about the job in which you are applying, but make sure it’s relevant. Ensure you understand the scope of the role and can explain your skills, experience and transferable skills in the best way possible.
Be prepared to discuss what made you interested in the role, how your CV is evidence of your skills and experience and how you plan to develop in the company. Make sure you do the ‘practice-buying' interview practice you've learned in the TAP and there's no need to go over old ground.
Tell a compelling story about yourself that relates to the job you want. Know your strengths and weaknesses and address them in your answer to each of the questions. You should speak your own personal language rather than simply copying what you have read in the job description.
Getting ready for an interview will take the same level of preparation as going to the dentist. That's right – you'll need to practise to make sure that you can comfortably respond to the day's questions. You'll need to prepare a one-minute CV, covering your key skills and experience, and a copy of your latest academic work.
Research The Company
Research the company you’re interviewing for and the role you are applying for. Ask yourself how important you think the job will be to the company and whether you could realistically gain from the opportunity. Also, check out the company's recent press and public statements, which you may not have seen previously.
You can use LinkedIn or Twitter to research any key figures and see if you can get some contact details. It’s also worth checking out Glassdoor reviews and looking at industry news articles and job boards, including Ladders and Indeed.
The first thing you should do when you are planning a job interview is research the company you are interested in. Not only do you need to find out about the company’s work culture, skills and management style, you also need to learn about the culture of the people who work there.
- Have they got any hobbies?
- Do they like to socialize outside work hours?
- Do they have a dog?
- Does their family know that they are applying for the job?
Even if the company is not listed on Google, you can still find out useful information by asking the people who work there. You can ask them what kind of training the company offers, what the working hours are like and what average salaries are for the industry. You can also ask for an application pack.
Prepare Your Resume (CV)
Your Resume (CV) can be one of the most important parts of your job application and interview preparation. It should include relevant work experience, ideally including senior roles or skills that match the job description. Include information such as any volunteer work or training schemes and examples of your work.
It's also a good idea to include an interactive CV, using your skills to show how you can fit with the job requirements and be successful. Ensure that all information is professionally written and include the exact dates and dates of any periods when you were not at work. If you are happy with your CV and other materials you have produced you should send them to your chosen recruiter or to the company where you hope to be employed.
Make sure you're using the most up-to-date version of your CV, with your contact details and relevant skills clearly labelled. Download templates for your jobs to keep them up to date – using one of the many free online tools is an easy way to do this. You can prepare a ‘thank-you' message for each job you apply for so that you always have something positive to send.
Prepare Your Interview Profile
Select the questions that you'd be asked in a job interview and the tone of the questions, as well as how long the interview would last and what sort of questions would be asked. You can take a test to help you prepare this, or you could use a sample interview profile.
Choosing a course at the moment is the best way to boost your CV and cover letter with experience, as it offers valuable experience in a range of roles. Whether you choose to go on placement or not is up to you – but with the demand for digital designers, there is no better time than now to start learning digital arts and crafts to beef up your CV.
Be confident and relaxed when you’re preparing for the interview and always remember to be polite and friendly towards the employer – they are only trying to find the best people for the job. Keep your spirits up and remember that, as a recent graduate, you have a lot more to offer than a long list of university credits. You are the perfect candidate for a job that will keep you challenged and which suits your skills, experience and motivation.
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