Here are our top tips when preparing for interviews, whether it be with our consultants or with one of our clients.
Dress For The Occasion
Appearances matter. Ensure you are well dressed and appropriate to the role you have applied for. Most interviews require a business suit. Polish your shoes, make sure your shoes are polished and you do not look unkempt and that you take off your coat and scarf prior to the interview commencing.
Plan and Prepare
Good preparation is the key. If you do not know where you are going, do a dummy run and plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays. Have all necessary documents in a presentation folder, not shoved in a handbag or pocket. Remember to speak clearly, smile. Fail to plan, plan to fail! Prepare background knowledge on the company you are with. They will want to know what you understand about them and the role you are applying for. Prepare some information on their competitors also, this shows an understanding of the market the company exists within and that you are prepared for the competition.
Practice the Obvious
Most interviews will ask the obvious standard questions which you can prepare yourself for. Practicing in front of a friend or a mirror always helps. They often ask you personal questions, such as, “Tell me about yourself” which is often an opening question gathering first impressions and easing nerves. Keep it relatively short. Some other usual questions are:
What are your strengths / weaknesses?
Always be positive about yourself but not too self assured. Make sure you have a weakness, but not one that would be totally detrimental to being successful in the role. Think about this one, many things can be called weaknesses but can have a positive spin placed upon them.
Why should we hire you?
Sell yourself. This is your one opportunity to make them see they cannot survive without you. Don’t just tell them you will be an asset to their team, tell them why.
What are your goals? or Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Don’t tell the interviewer you want his or her job! However, you need to be seen to wanting to remain in a life long career, building relationships and furthering your career path within this company. Remember some companies have limited room for promotions so do not talk continuously about this if there is not a great opportunity for it. The interviewer will assume you will become unsettled in a short space of time.
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company. Find out more.