Interview preparation: 7 Things you must do

Author: Shaun Windram

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for a number of reasons but with the right preparation, you can alleviate that stress to perform at your best and here’s how you do it.

1)      Do a trial run and prepare the journey– Just knowing the address and guessing the journey time is not good enough. You need to know exactly where you the office is, it’s not always as straight forward as you think/hope. Know how long it takes to get there and leave plenty of time for traffic, road works and anything else likely to raise your stress levels. Remember, if you’re not ten minutes early, you’re late.

2)      Prepare your interview attire – Basic right? You don’t need me to cliché this up for you with “one chance to make a first impression” stuff but trust me, when you’re dressed professionally you act the same way and finding confidence will become much easier during your meeting when you look the part.

3)      Research the company – But don’t regurgitate the website, that’s dull. Speak with your recruiter and pick their brains for every ounce of information; they should know the company inside and out. Read news articles, find out what they do and where they operate, who they compete with, success stories and events they attend. Arm yourself with information to initiate and stimulate conversation and to have common professional ground, it’ll be worth it.

4)      Research the interviewers – Google the names of the people but draw the line at personal social media (Facebook), LinkedIn will tell you a lot of what you need to know and they’ll know you’ve looked at their page as part of your preparation. Pay close attention to their company web pages as well as comments they make in groups. Do they blog? All of these will give you a great insight into what is important to them.

5)      Know the requirement and read your CV – Sounds stupid, right? So does the sound of someone trying to answer a question to something they forgot was on their CV. Your CV is the basis for the interviewer’s questions don’t expect them to venture too far from it even for competency based questions.

6)      Practise – Get a friend or partner to start throwing questions at you the night before. They don’t need to be professional interviewers but give you enough to get in the interview mindset. Google interview questions you’ll find over 1bn results…how much practise do you need?!

7)      Get a good start – Don’t get there in the nick of time. If possible take the day off, rest well, eat proper breakfast and get to a nearby coffee shop around 30 minutes beforehand to get ‘in the zone’

Ok 8 things, 7 just sounded more lucky for the superstitious so don’t forget this one…

8)      Relax – They want you to be right for the job.