Preparing for a Job Interview
Congratulations if you have got yourself an interview! The UK job market is very competitive right now, so if an employer has liked your application/CV enough to want to see you in person, it is a great achievement in itself.
When you are invited to attend an interview, it is important that you know the following information:
1. When and where the interview will be and how you will get there
2. Who will be interviewing you
3.Whether you need to prepare anything or bring anything to the interview
You should have received this information in a letter when you were invited to attend your interview, but if not it is worth contacting the company to confirm these details.
Preparing for the Interview
1. Do your research. This is an obvious one, but VERY important. Look online if possible, or if the company doesn’t have a website, ask for a company brochure or leaflet. The sorts of things to look for are: annual reports, when the company was founded, how many employees, whether they have won awards and general information about the history of the business.
2. Know where to go. If you can do a dummy run of getting to the interview – do it! Don’t rely on maps or sat nav – they don’t know if a road is closed due to road works. If you are using public transport check their website the morning of your interview in case of any problems. Time yourself, allowing an additional 20 minutes on top. It doesn’t matter if you are a bit early, but it really does matter if you are late.
3. Have your documents to hand. Hopefully you will have printed an additional copy of your application to take along, but if not print out your CV. It makes you look professional and you can refer back to it if you are asked a question – in an interview situation you may draw a blank so you can use your CV as a memory jog. Take along copies of any certificates you have too.
4. Do some homework. Spend an hour or so in the nights leading up to your interview doing some homework. Keep reading the job description and think to yourself how you would be able to fulfil the requirements of the role. You might get asked questions about specific job requirements so practice your answers.
5. Prepare your questions. You will undoubtedly be asked towards the end of the interview “Do you have any questions you would like to ask?” so make sure you have! Type them up or write them down and refer to them upon being asked this question. Have 3 or 4 questions prepared.
6. Prepare your answers. Your interviewer will probably ask you 1 or 2 challenging questions so prepare some answers. Typical questions might be “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time” or “What are your weaknesses”.
Above all, keep a PMA! It is so important to keep a positive mental attitude. Get in the mindset that you are already working for the company. Imagine yourself in the role, talking to colleagues and how it would feel to be working for the company.