I am not an expert at interviews and to be honest if you are, you definitely have been to a lot in your life so far or you are just perfect. But since I have been to a few this last month I wanted to give my advice on how I dealt with my interviews and my top ten steps to getting some clues on the topic of interviews.
1. Research the Company
This is the first step that always comes up when I was searching for advice on how to deal with interviews. You need to go and research the company and just get some information from their website and look at the list of achievements they have accomplished as well as the future plans they have. This is not only beneficial for the person that will interview you in terms of finding out if you did some preparation before the interview but also a benefit for you. By researching the company’s policies and values, you are able to show the interviewer that you want to be part of their organisation as well as a deciding factor on whether their values will also meet your own.
2. Look at the job description
I know it could be boring to keep looking back at the job description especially since you probably spent a good long two days staring at it when completing your written application but I’m sure that looking at it some more will prepare you for the verbal interview. I spent a long time looking at it and breaking it down to the different sections they might test me on. I then proceeded to create an answer to each of the things they are looking for (including an example). This will prepare you with some answers to say during the interview, which I found really useful as I often become flustered and draw a blank. But having some answers ready to talk about it will help you create somewhat fluent sentences.
3. Look up possible interview questions
I found that looking up all the interview questions both general and specific will help you with creating effective answers ready for the interview. I spent a lot of time searching for all the possible questions they could ask me and writing answers for each of them. No one likes being interviewed and not knowing what to say is something I worried about especially after my first interview. I kept pausing and hesitating and biting the side of my mouth because I felt my answers weren’t strong enough (and tbh I just made it up on the spot), so having an answer ready to any interview question is a massive plus and will prevent any further stress to your interview day.
4.Pick a good outfit to wear
Nothing says I am ready than a polished outfit. Go and pick out a good outfit to wear that is well presentable and neat. You have just been invited for an interview and been researching so many questions and staring at your computer screen for two days straight. You need a break and what can be better than treating yourself to a shopping trip to buy some formal trousers or a nice blazer or even if you are really bad at timing and very last minute, go raid your closet and pick out all the pieces of clothing that are appropriate for an interview. If you feel good, then chances are you will feel ready (and a little gangster-may-care) for your interview.
5. Print out and folder ALL documents
I know printing can be difficult and time-consuming but hey making an extra effort to print out all the required documents to an interview which you could end up having is definitely worth it. Make sure you print out your CV, find your National Insurance paper, dig out your passport, birth certificate and even print out your application. Even if you think you might not need it, it might still help you in terms of revising over things you have previously said and showing your future employer that you can the right candidate they should be hiring. (plus it will make you look professional and organised if you carry a folder in lol).
6. Plan your route
You need to plan your route and find out how you will get there at least a couple of days before your interview. Since I am not driving yet, I had to use the bus, so I needed to make sure that I withdrew money for bus fare and found out the right time to leave the house to get the right bus. If you are going to take a car, make sure you know if parking is available where you are going as well as any delays happening on the roads. This also goes for if you need to still walk further to arrive in the right room or department. The important thing is not to be late cause if you are late then it will make the interviewer question your punctuality.
Keep researching about the company and things they have done in the past and something you can relate to. Think of more examples that you can bring up when they ask you questions (this is really important if you haven’t had much experience like me). Look at reviews on the company and search on the internet for forums where people were interviewed for a similar position to yours. Look up more advice that other people have to calm your nerves or make you stand out (there are dozens on the internet that can help you, so just keep researching). This will also help when your mind goes blank to insert things you have learnt just to buy time to think of an answer.
8. Get advice on the right interview etiquette
If you have to ask your family, your parents, grandparents, aunts, older siblings or join a forum, you need to know the proper etiquette and mannerisms interviewers are looking for. These are things such as making eye contact, staying polite and respectful throughout, displaying a sense of humour without laughing or trying to joke with the interviewer. To be honest, this step is just common sense but is still an important one to keep in mind and remember that how you behave with your family or friends is not the same way you should treat a random stranger that is interviewing you and will potentially give you a job.
9. Prepare everything the night before
This is a must if you know you are a last minute person and time-management isn’t your best skill. Go and prepare everything you need for the following day so to avoid making yourself panic more than you need to. Get all your documents printed and placed in a folder and even inside your bag. Put your keys, wallet and other essentials inside the bag as well. Iron and place your outfit on the closet handle ready for the following day. Make sure you brush through your hair, cut your nails and also shave any hair which they might notice (especially if you are a girl and will be wearing a dress, shave your armpits and legs and maybe your arms – if it is really hairy).
10. Get a good night sleep
Finally, sleep. You need a great sleep ready for tomorrow. By getting a great sleep you will feel refreshed and will be as ready as you could ever be to go ace that interview. Just keep breathing and don’t panic. When you get there, go straight to the bathroom if you have time, so you can fix yourself and look proud in that mirror. Then go find the room (make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes before the time allotted) and knock on that door of opportunity. You can do this!
If you have any more advice for interviews or past experiences you would like to share, leave a comment in the section below.