Interviews always seem to be hair-raising. Nerves handicap your ability to express your authentic self and actually shut down your creative and learning centres.
Proper preparation, including applying the suggestions set out in this blog, and then repeatedly role playing the interview will improve your self confidence. This will allow you to relax and portray the poise and skills that will give you the edge to successfully impress the interviewer. Remember, “Fail to prepare, or prepare to fail.”
There are 10 essentials that will help you arrive at your interview feeling prepared and polished-
1. Know About Your Interviewer – read the company’s “About us” tab to find out insight into what the company actually does. Research what they are all about- their ethos, their goals and mission and what parts of the company they emphasize. This will give you an indication on what aspects of yourself you’ll need to highlight and what topics in the news to research in preparation.
2. Learn the Job Description and Save it: It’s important to save the job description in a safe place as often, the company will remove the description from that page once they have filled up the interview spots. Learn exactly what it is that the job entails by reading it line-by-line. Take the time to think out clearly what your challenges would be with this job and on the flip-side, what ideas you could bring to the table.
3. For Each Responsibility or Qualification:
- – Decide how your experience or skills fit in with it.
- – Find examples from past experience that you can point to as supporting evidence indicating
your fit for the job.
- – Do not be alarmed if you’re not a perfect fit- its very seldom that any person is.
4. Write Out 10 Potential Questions they Could Ask: Then write out the answers and learn them. See our blog article on “Potential Questions to be asked in an Interview”.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice putting the above information into succinct and fluid answers and remembering
6. Directions and Interviewer’s Contact details – Have the directions and contact details printed out in hard copy a day or two before and map out what direction you’ll be taking. This will allow you to see where it is you are going to and how much extra time to allow for traffic, getting lost or any other unforeseen problems that may arise. Its important to have all these details in the physical as technology seems to have a knack for letting you down at those inopportune times.
7. Things to bring – Your ID, Money, Mints and Notepad and Pen. Sometimes a photo ID is required for entrance into buildings- don’t miss the interview or get into a fluster over an argument with the Front desk Personnel for disallowing you entrance. Sometimes the interviewer may decide they want to have the interview over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria, it really wouldn’t be professional if you were caught unawares and penniless. Bring mints along, especially if you may be having a morning coffee or a cigarette on the way to the interview. You definitely do not want to be caught with chewing gum or a stale breath. Invest in a notepad holder- this way it can hold your CV and an exam pad for you to write down any important notes during the interview process.
8. Copies of your CV: It’s always prudent to bring several extra copies of your CV in case there is more then one interviewer. It can also be helpful in the situation that they ask you to go through your previous employment, you can pull your CV out and go through the information chronologically ensuring that you don’t forget any important information.
9. Presentation – Set your outfit out the day before the interview so you can try it on and check that everything fits correctly. It’s quite a good idea to do some research on what different colour suits and shirts symbolise to ensure you fit the overall image of the position. It’s always wise for a woman to pack an extra pair of stockings in case some devilish hook catches you on the way. Also be aware of small things like your nails, shoes, matching socks etc. I was told a story the other day of a woman applying for a job at a cosmetics company- she looked exceptional on paper however she pitched up with chipped nails and unfortunately never got the job. This is illustrative of how such small things can have such dire consequences.
10. And Finally a Professional Bag or Brief Case – You need just one bag to hold all of the above as you don’t want to be scratching through several pockets to find the necessaries.
This may seem like a lot of things to do before you even walk into the interview room however most of the work in life goes into the preparation. Getting all these little ducks in a row will ensure you glide into your interview with confidence and a polished poise ready to get the job of your dreams.