An often under estimated element of the job seeking process is the preparation that people should do prior to attending an interview. Before you are ready to attend your interview, you need to consider the following steps:
Understand the company
Most people will look at a company website, or at least be advised to do so, but there is certain information that you should look to glean from the website to make sure that you represent yourself in the best way possible at interview.
- About Us – Start with this section of the website, learn about them, what they did, when they did it and what they do now. About us will normally give a good overview as to the operation and industry of the company if that has not been clear to this stage.
- Careers – The careers or jobs section will give a good overview as to the number of positions that are active, but also will often point towards skills, competencies and values that the company look for in their future recruits.
- Values – If it wasn’t evident on the careers page, seek out values or something similar which give you a real insight into the kind of character that you need to be to be successful within the organisation.
- Performance Figures – some people are nervous to reference these, but there is a real advantage to understanding a business’s performance, this can be gained in a number of ways including Companies House.
Understand the job description
At this point it is worth noting that job adverts are not a job description, you should make sure you do your due diligence and gain a documented job description where possible. Through doing this you will be able to show where your skills are transferable to this new position. Normally a recruiter or employer will have this and there will not be an issue in sharing it.
Know your interviewer
Spend some time looking up your interviewer on LinkedIn, this will show you how they came to be in their position and give you more scope for what they do day to day. Knowing your interviewer can help you to decide the best way in which to pitch yourself and give you a feel for the kind of person that they would be looking for.
Plan your outfit
You may think it goes without saying, but dress appropriately for an interview and play it safe. For gents, this is generally formal with a focus towards a suit or a shirt and tie combination. You may not be a tie person, but you only have one chance to make an impression and you don’t want that to be that you didn’t wear a tie. For ladies, the focus again is toward formal wear, suggestions here are towards suits, trousers, dresses, something that you would deem appropriate for the workplace.
Plan your route
Know how you are getting to the office. Spend a few minutes looking them up on Google before you set off so that you know the streets and the building. Make sure you plan for parking if appropriate and leave enough time to get from one place to the other. It is crucial not to arrive too early as much as it is not to arrive late, so leave a good amount of time but busy yourself outside if needed, until about 10 minutes before you are due to be there.
Practice makes perfect, there are several things that can and do come up in interviews which we will detail separately. Spend time with a friend, family member, or recruiter honing your interview skills and make sure that you deliver the best you that you can.
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Contributor: Tristan Law