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The Ultimate Interview Tips

The Ultimate Interview Tips

The interview might be tomorrow but the prep starts now!

Your CV did the trick and you got noticed by the employer, congrats! Now all you have to do is get through the interview process and you're one stage closer to getting offered the job.

The interview is designed so the employer can find out more about you and see if your skills, strengths and experiences can translate into their business. As well as, whether or not you fit their requirements and would fit with their other employees. But with so little time to impress you need to have done your preparations before the interview to ensure you are ready to showcase what makes you the perfect candidate. 

Where do you even start when preparing for an interview?

You might not know it, but there is a lot you need to do before the interview so as soon as you are offered that interview, the preparation should start; the sooner the better.

Do you remember the first time you met your partner's family for the first time? (strange unrelated question but stay with me) You were so eager to leave a good impression, you no doubt spent the car journey to theirs being quizzed on family trivia by your other half. Usually having a few facts about the family likes and dislikes in your back pocket so you could fill out any awkward silences.

Well an interview is just the same, an opportunity for the employer to get to know you and vice versa but the good things is a employer is much easier to research. (It is unlikely your boyfriend's parents had a website written about them)

Being prepared is essential, so I have put together a checklist to make your preparation even easier and remember you can take notes into the interview with you; so why wouldn't you give yourself that extra advantage.

Top Tip Alert

1)  Write a list of strengths

Sit down with a pen and paper and start compiling a list of your top 10 strengths and then read it over to yourself several times before the interview. 
The repetition will help it sink in and if nothing else it will be a great ego boost before walking into the interview as who doesn't like to hear how great they are even if it is you saying it!

If you're struggling with the list why not ask a colleague to give you their suggestions. They might pick up on things you didn't notice and it is always good in an interview to not only talk about what you thinking but add "my colleagues would say I was..."

2) Have a list of examples handy

Put together several examples to demonstrate your experiences. Use the job spec to match your examples to the skills the employer is looking for, showing how you fit their requirements. It's important when thinking of examples to home in on what you did in that situation as well as how you worked with your colleagues. Remember to not always say "we did" but disguise your responsibilities by changing from "I was responsible for" and "I work with XX to achieve XX." (There maybe no I in team but a recruiter isn't interviewing the whole team)

When using the examples in your interview ensure that they complement the questions being asked, even though you have prepared make sure not to sound rehearsed. 

3) Research the Company

Do your research on the company and re read the job specification to refresh your memory. You need to know the role inside and out and be ready to feed your knowledge of the company into your answers throughout the interview. 

Have at least one question prepared that relates to the company goals or culture, this will show your passion for their organisation. 
*TOP TIP* Arrive early to the interview and check out the literature in the company's reception, usually the company notice boards or promotion literature will hold some good information you can put into your interview.

4) Dress to Impress, Plan an Outfit

Have your clothes picked and ready to go, no one needs any clothing dramas on the morning of your interview. Remember to keep your outfit professional and if in doubt ask the employer what attire is appropriate for the interview they are conducting. 

You want your first impression to be good so smart is the best way to go for any interview. 

5) Know where you are going

Know where you are going and plan the best route to get to the interview. Lateness is never an excuse at any interview so leave plenty of time to get there and try and arrive at least 10 -15 minutes in advance. It's important to be on time and getting there early will reduce your nerves and give you a few minutes to relax before the interview begins. Always make sure you know who you are meeting so you can inform the receptionist correctly on arrival.

And remember although arriving early is a good thing, don't be too early as you can't just sit in reception for an hour.

6) Pack your bag (just like the first day of school)

Find and pack all the documents you require including your CV and portfolio of work if applicable. Make sure you have everything that was requested by the employer so be prepared whether that be ID or proof of address. Don't let your first impression to the employer be that you can't follow simple instructions.

Always leave anything you need by the door so you can't leave the house without tripping over it; that way you will never forget it.

7) Sit back and Relax

Get your beauty sleep! Relax the night before the interview so you are stress free and focused. Why not get that bath drawn, light a few candles and have a bit of you time before an early night.

If you have an interview it is probably best to hold off on any plans the night before, so no having a few too many wines before an interview; being hungover in an interview is a definite no go!

Have you ticked off all the boxes above?

To have a successful interview you must be prepared and recruiter will be able to tell the level of preparation you put into your interview. It will also reduce those interview nerves allowing you to focus on building that rapport and relationship with the interviewer. 

You only have one chance to impress in an interview so why not do everything you can before the big day to make sure everything runs smoothly. There is no such thing as a cheat sheet in an interview unfortunately (it would be so much easier if there were) but as the saying goes practise makes perfect. So get practising! 

If you haven't already, subscribe to get a free downloadable PDF checklist to support you with your next interview and lots of other career resources as well. 

Related Reads:

Recruit Yourself - What Questions to Ask

How to Act on the Small Screen - Video Interviewing

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