Interview Preparation – a quick guide


So you’ve passed the initial stages, perhaps had a phone or a Skype call and you’ve been called for a face-to-face interview. Congratulations. This is your chance to sell yourself, showcase your skills and experience and make sure you’re the preferred candidate. But it’s also at this stage that many of those that look like a fantastic match on paper, fail to make an impression in person.  One reason is the lack of interview preparation – just like an exam you need to prepare for an interview.

No idea where to start with your interview preparation?  Don’t worry to give you the best chance of success here is our interview preparation checklist to complete before the big day!

1.      The basics – you’ll be surprised how often candidates turn up at the wrong place, wrong time or ask for the wrong person.  Make sure you’ve asked your consultant who you’re meeting, where and when. Find out the best route, how long it will take and anything that could cause delays. Factor all this in when planning your journey on the day. So you’re not panicking on the day, plan your outfit in advance. Check everything still fits and is clean – the red wine stain on your suit from a wedding last summer won’t make the best first impression, nor will the blouse with a button missing.

2.      Know the role – when looking for a new job it is likely that you’ve applied for a number of positions. Make sure you know the role you’ve applied for. Print out and read the job description/advert to get a better understanding of the role and how it fits within the organisation.

3.      Know yourself – an interview is basically a sales pitch, and you’re the product. As any salesman will tell you, if you don’t know your product you won’t be able to sell it. Print out your CV, go through your skills and experience. Think about any key achievements and make a note of key stats, such as savings made, leads generated etc.. Compare your CV to the job description and try to pull out specific examples of how you meet their requirements.

4.      Research, research, research – researching the company is as much about making sure the organisation is right for you as it is about impressing the interviewer.  Visit the company website, look at the products and services they have to offer, if they have one, read their blog or any recent news articles.  Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages.  This will help give an insight into their company culture and the issues they feel strongly about for example. You don’t need to stop at researching the organisation, the majority of workers in the UK have a LinkedIn profile, while we’re not suggesting you link with your interviewer, you can have a look at their profile and that of other people within the organisation.

5.      Speak to your recruiter – your recruitment consultant will have spent the past few weeks, months or even years working with the hiring manager. So ask them for their insider knowledge, any tips or guidance they can give you to help you stand out.

Remember as the famous quote says..  ‘failing to prepare, is preparing to fail’. So make sure you’ve done your interview preparation and are ready to shine at interview!

‘Interview preparation – a quick guide’ was written by Lesley Colella Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

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