Candidate Interview Prep

February 21, 2019

By doing some preparation you’ll feel more confident, and will appear cool, calm and collected as a result to your prospective employers – qualities always looked for in the right candidate.

Here are some preparation tips to help you make a big impact…

Review your application and the job description

It can be hard to keep track when you’re applying for various jobs, so make sure you print off a copy of the selection criteria and your application. It’s a rookie mistake to go into an interview unsure of what the actual job is or what you presented to the employer which got you the interview in the first place!

Re-read everything to make sure you’re confident in what is expected of you. This is also a great place to start thinking of any questions you would like to ask in the interview. Keep a copy of your CV in a nice folder and take it along on the day, it will make you look organised and prepared.

Research the company

Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to not only find out all about the job you are interviewing for but also the company details. Company research is a critical part of your interview prep. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions about the company and to ask the interviewer questions about the company. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.

For a concise understanding of the company, check out the company website, specifically the “About Us” page. Get a sense of how the company compares to other organisations in the same industry by reading articles about the company in industry magazines or websites. Doing a simple Google search should throw up quite a lot of useful information which you can tap into.

Also, spend time tapping into your network to see if you know someone who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.

Plan your journey

Sounds very simple, but being late is one of the worst interview sins. Make sure you know where you’re going, how to get there and then leave plenty of time to make the trip. Aim to get there at least fifteen minutes early so you have time to gather your thoughts. It might even be worthwhile, if you have the time, to do a trail run of the journey leading up to the interview.

It doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong, like unexpected breakdowns or station closures. Keep your phone fully charged so you can look up the directions on the go, or print off a map to be on the safe side.

Practice your interview question

Preparing for all types of interview questions is the best way to prevent being caught off-guard on the day. The last thing you want is to start panicking while trying to come up with answers that present your skills in the best light.

Confidence is key with this one, so try practicing either by yourself (in the mirror is a good idea as you’ll get a sense of your body language) or get a friend / relative to quiz you.

Be prepared for unusual interview questions that are designed to put you on the spot.

Dress to impress

Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your interview clothes are ready. Have an interview outfit ready to wear a day or two in advance ideally, so you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear while you’re scrambling to get ready for your interview. Whilst you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, most interviewers will judge you by your appearance.

If you’re wearing a wrinkled shirt and scuffed shoes, while sporting an impressive case of bed hair, it’s not really going to give the best impression. It’s important to look professional and feel confident. Wear something you’re comfortable in as well, if you’re distracted by shoes that pinch or a jacket that’s a little too tight, you won’t be able to focus on what’s truly important – your answers and acing your interview!

Most importantly, don’t leave your preparation to the last minute. If you’re still trying to figure out directions to an office as you’re supposed to be leaving, you’ll be a nervous wreck by the time you get there and won’t be able to give a clear, focused interview. You want to present the best version of yourself and by taking these simple steps, you’ll be able to do just that.

For more guidance on how to perform well at interviews, please contact the Hooray team on 01242 300228.