Let’s begin with congratulations, you’re probably reading this because you got the interview. Which, if that's the case, you're also on the right track: preparing for your interview shows that you’re determined and motivated to succeed.
However, you aren’t reading this to hear that you’re on the right path so we've put together our concise advice on what to you should do before your face to face interview.
A face to face interview may have come after a telephone interview, or you may have got a straight face-to-face after applying for the role. This is the most common type of interview and will probably take place with either one person, usually your manager, or a panel. You can read here the most common types of interview you might be tasked with.
Once you get that interview date:
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
There are a few areas to focus on so you aren’t panicked either during the interview or before:
Plan your journey: how long will it take you to get there and what transport methods would you need to take? If you’re going by car then account for traffic or if traveling by train have an alternate route planned and any additional time accounted for if this were to happen.
To avoid unnecessary panic, try and arrive as early as possible and you can always sit and have a coffee somewhere close. By arriving early you’ll be able to go over any last-minute information too, you can read the job description again, check the website, read any additional advice and gather your thoughts.
Plan your outfit too: remember to dress smartly. First impressions count and if you turn up looking like you really want the job, in smart clothes it will set a great initial impression. So, make sure your shirts are ironed, trousers or skirt are hung up and ready for you to put on the day of your interview.
Learn about the company: you may already know what they do especially if they’re a key player in the market. Looking through the “About Us” section and familiarising yourself with the website will build upon and refresh existing knowledge.
If they have a blog, you should have a scroll through and get a feel for the company and how they think – see if it matches your work philosophy. Mentioning you’ve read an article, or if something you read comes up in a question it will really highlight to your interviewer you’ve been exploring the site.
There may also be a team page, you can familiarise yourself with the people that work there.
When looking through their site you should think about things like:
• Who are their main competitors?
• Who are their customers?
• Have there been any recent developments/changes to the website?
• What do they believe in/ does the company mission match yours?
Do you have some questions for us? This very very likely question has the power to transform the interview. If everything is going well and you say “no” it can really discourage the interviewer. More so, your interviewer will be expecting questions from you so you should have something prepared. It’s good to practice example answers for the standard interview questions which you could be faced with.
Study, study, study!
The job description should be etched onto your brain. You’ll be thoroughly tested on how your skills match the role.
When reading through, you should prefer for questions on how your current skills and experience match the role's duties. It will also help you understand what it is your employer is looking for. The interview is aimed at finding out how you fit this role so every answer should be tailored to the role's requirements.
You should learn about their business philosophy and brand personality. Are they a corporate company that has a specific identity or are they a bit more ‘out there’ and dynamic? While we will always encourage you to look for jobs that suit your personality as these are the jobs you will really enjoy, with research by Gallup suggesting that work friendships equate to higher employee satisfaction. sometimes we just want to work for a company or do the job, regardless. Your personality will be a key factor in deciding whether you have that je ne sais quoi they’re looking for.
And prepare, prepare, prepare some more!
Checklist of what to bring with you:
Whilst you may not need all of these, it’s good to come prepared.
• A copy of your CV
• A copy of the Job Description
• Examples of your work (if relevant)
• A notepad and pen
• A folder to keep it all in
• Your A game
So when thinking of what to do before your face to face interview make sure to prioritise your route getting there, plan your outfit choice and are clued up on how best to answer any questions by reading the job description and your CV.