As one year rolls into another, many people will be thinking about plans for new jobs. We’ve covered social media audits, getting the most from your recruiter and how to create the perfect CV in our last few newsletters. Those three things should lead to you being offered an interview, so this month we’re looking at how to prepare for your interview. (And next month, we’ll look at perfecting your technique during the interview itself.)
Here are a few things to do before you even set off for that crucial interview:
- Make sure you have a genuine understanding of the job spec – your recruiter should be able to help you with this. Try to match your skills and experience to each section of it.
- Saying that, job specs can be quite generic, so make sure this is backed up by a solid understanding of the company in terms of structure, purpose, clients etc.
- More specifically, look the company up on Google – is there any recent news about them / their clients / their competitors?
- Look at the company’s own website – what work are they proud of? Have there been any recent promotions?
- Check them out on LinkedIn – who are you interviewing with and what are their backgrounds? Have a look at the professional backgrounds of other employees. Do they have anything in common? How might your experience fit in?
- Practise competency based interview questions – if you can, practise with a friend or family member.
- Work out what to wear in advance – it’s generally better to be slightly over-dressed than under-dressed.
- Work out your journey to the interview in advance and leave plenty of time.
- If you have any logistical questions, phone the company and ask – show your initiative.
- Discuss all of the above with your recruiter. Often they will have exclusive knowledge of the personalities of the people you’ll be interviewing with and the company itself.
All these tips may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people do all of the above. Comprehensive interview prep can really make you stand out from the crowd.