After scouring through a ton load of job sites, sending out numerous applications, and placing many cold calls for updates on the recruitment process, you finally received that longed-for phone call; you have an interview. Now that the first hurdle is over, the real preparation begins! Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned interviewee or you are now stepping back into the job-hunting game, preparing for your next interview requires planning.
Here is a guide to being ready to dazzle for your next big role:
Know the job inside-out
Critically review the job description or job post details for the role before interviewing. Hopefully, you will have already gained an appreciation of the scope of the role upon submitting your application. However, now it is time to roll up your sleeves and take a deep dive into the job details. It is important to understand the requirements and expected skill sets for the role. Your interviewer is aiming to identify whether you are a good fit and so in your review of the job description, align your work experience and qualifications to the requirements of the prospective job. This might require some effort to recall past situations, wins, missed opportunities, lessons, and so on, but have them fresh and etched into memory. A great interviewee brings responses to life with examples.
A thorough understanding of the role should also equip you to respond to the questions “Why did you apply for this job?” and/ or “Why do you think you are most suited for the position?”
Know your future employer
How much you know about an employer can signal your level of interest in the job in the interview room. So, do your homework!
Focus on learning about the business outside of just vanity information such as the number of locations and addresses. Research the company to understand its history, business values, culture, latest news, products/services, past and ongoing promotions, leadership team, significant milestones achieved, its stakeholders, and even its competitors.
Use the internet as your starting point. Visit the company’s website and social media pages to gather key information. Where applicable, visit a customer-facing location to observe store layouts, customer service, and other key factors which you can use to add a dash of thoroughness to your answers. This demonstrates to the recruiter that you understand the business and can impress them with your high level of preparation.
Do not overlook the expected questions
It might be easy to assume that some of the more routine interview questions are simple, however, that can spell trouble if you fail to prepare for it.
If you are unfamiliar with possible questions, a quick online search can be your best first step. From typical interview questions to more job-specific questions, build out a list and prepare, prepare, prepare.
Practice your responses to those common questions before the interview and draw on your experiences to curate the best responses. Interview drills out loud can also make a significant difference. Consider recording yourself and playing back the audio or reviewing the video to hear yourself and observe your delivery.
Have your questions ready
Yes, you are being interviewed but you are also interviewing the company to ensure it is a good fit for you. Craft a few questions that would lead to responses that help you better understand the department, culture, and the company’s future. Use your research knowledge to prepare smart questions. Angle questions to gain insights into possible KPIs of the role, realistic expectations of your future boss, and even any possible challenges one might encounter in the role.
Plan your route
Make a good first impression by being punctual. Research the time from your home to the office, the best routes, and any foreseeable planned activities that might cause setbacks. If you are driving, ensure you enquire about parking to avoid becoming flustered on the day. If you are commuting, be aware of the location of transportation hubs and drop-off points.
If your interview is online, identify your dedicated space before the day of the interview. Ensure it is clear of clutter, and distracting backgrounds, has ample lighting, and is free of loud disruptions such as a television or even family members. Test your internet connectivity using video. Regardless of whether your interview is in-person or virtual, being early helps to alleviate your anxiety.
Now that you have already impressed the interviewer through your application, you can use this warm-up period to ensure you are fully prepared to shine. So, take a deep breath and get ready to showcase your skills and personality and land that job!