Interview Strategies: How to Prepare for your Next Interview
So, your recruiter has called you asking if you are available to interview. Fantastic news, but now is the time to prepare. Always make sure to ask any recruiter for as much information as possible about the interview including possible questions and they will always provide their top tips.
Here is the best strategy to follow to land your next job and impress at interview stage.
Step 1: Study for your interview like you would for an exam
Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing for. A great place to start is their website. Have a look and jot down some key notes you find relevant to the role you are going for. Glassdoor has a great facility too that can be used to research companies here. In Ireland though, often smaller companies aren’t available on websites like Glassdoor, but do some research on the company online as it usually turns up important information.
If you require a specific skillset for the role and need to brush up, make sure to do your research on anything new in the area of your skill. Check out news articles in the area using Google News. Or brush up on your skills for free using a resource such as Udemy.
Step 2: Generate a list of potential interview questions beforehand.
The recruiter you have been in contact with will be able to provide you with a guide toward the questions that are relevant to the role for you to go over. This is a great place to start.
If you know those who have worked in similar positions or roles, ask them about their experience and what sort of interview questions they were asked ahead of starting the role.
Another fantastic tool from Glassdoor is the ability to research interview questions for roles. It can be accessed here and it can be a huge asset in determining what sort of questions are asked by a company and sometimes example answers are given too.
Step 3: Write down the answers to the questions you’re expecting and practice saying them aloud
This is an age-old trick that you were likely taught in school, but it works. Writing out what you want to say won’t make you remember everything word for word, but it will instil the core concepts and key point into your memory.
Make sure you have your answers researched. For technical roles make sure you are researching the technical/specific answers to certain questions. For more generic questions make sure you research the company for its values and culture and determine your questions with the influence of the company.
Step 4: Go back to the job description
At this stage it is a good idea to go back to the job description and get a blank A4 page. Draw a line down the middle, take the skills they are asking for that you have and jot them down on the left and the ones you don’t have on the right.
One the left make note of when and where you have not only used these skills but used them well. On the right make note of how you learnt similar skills or anything you know about the skills you don’t have. Make sure you highlight your capacity to learn these skills and show an eagerness to indicate how close you are to having those skills. Often companies are open to training staff for certain skills.
If you’d like to research a certain skill you don’t have, check out Udemy here. It is a great online source for skill sharing and learning.
Step 5: Well Rested and Relaxed
It is important to get a good night sleep and eat healthily the days leading up to an interview – to put your best foot forward. However, this is tough for a lot of people who experience anxiety and stress in the lead up to an interview.
There are some fantastic online tools to help you relax and meditate ahead of your interview. Headspace is a great free resource that can be accessed here.
Step 7: Be confident but be comfortable
There are a few things commonly discussed after an interview and one of them is always the handshake. Make sure you practice a firm handshake and reinforce this confidence with a strong posture and positive body language. Bring additional motivation to yourself by telling yourself that you are going to succeed.
Dress for success, but don’t distract the interviewer. You will have likely gotten a firm feel for the company during your research and will be able to better decide what to wear from this. Be comfortable but be smart.
Step 8: What if?
Try to avoid any what ifs. What if they don’t have a copy of your CV in front of them? Pre-print 2-3 copies just in case. What if you get lost? Pre-check the route and make sure your transportation is organised well in advance.
A good tip is if your interview is at 2pm, check the traffic levels using Google maps around 2pm on another day to gauge timing a bit better. Always aim to be early for your interview.
Step 9: Keep an interview journal
Don’t forget when the interview is over that a great tool for you going forward will be the fresh notes. Jot down areas where you excelled and areas where you could’ve done better.
Then next time you have an additional guide for your research phase if this interview is unsuccessful.
Step 10: The follow up
It isn’t advisable to call the company daily looking for an answer. A great way to follow up is with a simple thank you note thanking them for the opportunity and express that you are looking forward to hearing from them. Then if you don’t get the job you can follow up and advise them that you are still interested in the company and if they can provide any additional feedback this will provide you with another research resource for your next role. Often your recruiter will be able to help with the follow up aspect and provide you with relevant feedback.
Our full list of available jobs can be viewed here. If you would like any additional information about an upcoming interview you have arranged with one of our recruiters feel free to contact them directly or forward us a message here.