Human Resource

8 Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview

8 Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview

Congrats - you've found that dream job, now it's time to reel it in with an unforgettable interview.

But how can you ensure you'll walk away having made a lasting first impression? 

One word, preparation! 

It's all about doing your homework (aka interview preparation) to stand out and leave the recruiter, hiring manager, or potential employer with no choice but to send a job offer your way. 

Let's jump into breaking down key interview tips to help you hit that interview process out of the park with 8 easy tips for your next job interview.

1. Research, research, research

Your hiring manager or potential employer wants to see that you know your stuff and that you're genuinely interested in the role you're applying for. This seems obvious, but without a little prior research, you could end up being unable to answer some simple questions: what about the company you love, who their competitors are, or how you can contribute to their current day-to-day. Start on the company's website, social media like LinkedIn, or current press releases. This should give you a firm grasp on where they're at, their goals, and how you fit into the equation!

2. Sell your brand

If you can't clearly and easily sell yourself, how can you expect someone to buy in? Closely examine the job description and come prepared with at least five key selling points that answer the requirements for the job. Plus, back them up! Don't just say you have good communication skills, tell them why and give specific examples. Knowing what you bring to the table also helps clarify what you want to get from the job in return; this is a great time to set these expectations with your hiring manager or potential employer – plus, it shows you're keen.

3. Come prepared

The last thing you want is to go completely blank while trying to answer a fairly straightforward question. Even the most confident interviewee can let nerves get the better of them. So, prepare for common interview questions in advance by looking them up online and drafting answers in your head. The types of questions you think you might encounter can depend on the role you're applying for, but you can start with the more common ones listed here or here.

Tip: Come prepared to discuss salary expectations too. Do your research into the average salaries of the role you're applying for so you know where you stand come money discussions! What is a Resume? 

4. Reverse the roles

The thought of being put on the spot in a high-stakes scenario can be nerve-wracking, but remember, this is your time to find out about them just as much as they're finding out about you. So come prepared with common interview questions. Again, the ones you choose will depend on your potential new job title, but this Glassdoor article is a great place to start for general FAQs. After you've found a few suitable job interview questions, jot them down into a list of questions on your phone, or somewhere else easily accessible, so you can quickly jog your memory before the interview begins.

5. Practice makes perfect

You could have all the perfect questions and answers lined up in your head, but if they can't make their way out into the room, all your hard work won't shine through. So take those answers to the bathroom mirror and say them out loud, again, and again, and again! Watching yourself while you recite helps familiarise yourself with your natural body language and identifies ways you could improve to make your statements even more convincing or impactful. Another option would be to record yourself as though you were having a video interview to then playback and pull out ways to improve. Or, simply get a couple of friends together for a mock interview; one plays the interviewer while the other examines and provides feedback. This person-to-person technique is particularly good for identifying physical body language like how well you maintain eye contact or if you've nailed the firm handshake.

6. Put your skills on display

Saying you can do something is one thing, but showing you've successfully done it in the past is another. So when you're answering questions or selling your skills, come prepared with a few real-world examples of your work or experience. Know how to curate this list by examining the job description and pulling out the work you've done in past jobs, clubs, or even volunteer/work experience that matches what they're looking for.

7. Leave with open ends

If the goal is to hear back, make sure they know you'll be expecting a call or update by going through your next steps together. This is especially important if you'll be required to complete an assignment, gather a reference list, or if another interview is potentially on the cards.

8. Don't forget: Be positive

Nerves can really do a number, but if you remember to breathe, hold enough eye contact, and stay positive, you should be able to sail through no problem! Get things off to a good start by kicking off with a positive statement about the company, and try not to dwell on the negatives when describing any past work experience. If you're asked about any negative experience, try to craft your response to focus on the positive learning you got out of it. Lastly, don't forget to express you want the job at the end of the interview! Show them how excited and willing you are to jump right in. 

Taking these points into consideration will help give you a head start and get you that much closer to one successful interview. Check out our other blogs for more interview tips and tricks!

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