Job Interview Preparation
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. However, good preparation takes the pain out of the process.
Preparation is essential and greatly enhances your chances of performing well, So:
- know your CV
- know your potential employer
- understand commonly used interview styles
Job Interview Tips
- Ensure your consultant has provided you with a detailed understanding of the position description, the team environment and the organisation.
- Conduct additional research on the organisation by reading annual reports and researching on the internet. Understand the organisation’s products and services, size, locations, financial situation and growth potential.
- Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and always be on time.
- Dress conservatively and pay attention to all aspects of your dress and grooming.
- Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and the correct pronunciation of their title.
- Spend time reviewing your resume and experience and its relevance to the position. Identify the specific examples in your background that are directly relevant to the position description and demonstrate your ability to do the job.
- Refresh your memory on the details of present and past employers and your work history for each. You will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked. Pay particular attention to how you will describe your most important achievements.
- Be prepared to communicate why this role appeals to you, why you should be considered for this role and what sets you apart from other candidates.
- Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. Remember that an interview is a two-way street. The employer will try to determine if you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. You must decide whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development you seek.
Questions you can ask:
Interviews are a two-way street. To really impress an interviewer, you need to come prepared to have an intelligent conversation – and that means coming with well thought-out questions to ensure it’s not just one-way traffic.
Asking questions in your interview will not only give you a better insight into the job you’re applying for, but will show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework and have the curiosity and initiative to seek more information. Questions should be tailored to the specific role and company, but here are seven excellent questions you can ask to help make a good impression.
1. Can you describe your ideal candidate?
The more you know about what the company is looking for, the more you can tailor your responses to highlight your skills that best represent this. No matter how polished your CV, it’s not going to make an impact if you can’t match your experience up to the key skills and attributes they are looking for.
2. What are the keys to success in this role?
There’s a difference between talking about the role and talking about how to be successful in the role. A candidate who is interested in what they can bring to the company and how they can excel and flourish will impress any interviewer. You’ll also gain more clarity on the position to ensure that it’s the right fit for you.
3. How do you measure performance?
Organisations approach performance benchmarks in different ways that often include hitting key performance indicators (KPIs) and conducting performance reviews. Finding out how the role you’re interviewing for is measured will help you understand how it needs to be approached and what aspects of your past performance you need to highlight. If you’ve achieved excellent performance reviews in the past or exceeded your KPIs in previous positions, be sure to mention this.
4. What are the main goals for the business?
Discussing the business goals of the company will show your interest in the bigger picture, and this is particularly important for more strategic roles. You can also ask about the proposed direction and future growth of the company, and then describe how you can help the organisation achieve its goals.
5. Do you offer professional development opportunities?
Don’t be afraid to ask about the professional development opportunities available at the company. You may be concerned about coming across as overly opportunistic but what you will really be demonstrating is your dedication to improving and developing yourself. An employee who strives to build their skills and capabilities is an asset to any company and this won’t go unnoticed by your interviewer.
6. What’s your favourite thing about working for this company?
You may have done your research but you’ll never get the same insights from the company website as you will from someone who works there. The best part about this question is that it will help you establish rapport with your interviewer, as well as give you insight into the company culture. Demonstrating genuine interest in the organisation will set you apart from other candidates who are just going through the motions.
7. What are the next steps?
Candidates often forget to discuss what happens after the interview. Should you expect a call or email, and within what timeframe? Are there further rounds of interviews or testing? Asking these questions will ensure you know what to expect and your interviewer will know you’re highly interested in the role. After the interview, it’s also good form to follow up with a polite email to thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you.