Feb
17

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

There is no doubt that first impressions count for a lot, and a job interview is no different in this respect. The job market is becoming increasingly competitive, so the process of applying for a job may be more arduous than ever and the interview itself is becoming even more competitive.

job interviewIt is a vital part of the whole job selection process, and a candidate has to do well to stand any chance of landing the job. One mistake could lose you the job, whilst one or two outstanding areas of performance in an interview can put you in front of the competition.

Preparing for your interview it essential to ensure that you go into your interview with a confident and positive attitude. The laws of attraction maintain that a positive and optimistic attitude is more likely to get you what you want in life and this applies equally to the interview process.

On the contrary excessive nervousness is likely to be reflected in a poor interview performance, with failure to answer questions in a clear, concise, and convincing manner. A degree of nervousness, when going for an interview, is natural of course, but, as with public speaking, for example, overcoming these anxieties by adequate preparation and practice is the key to success and this is where adequate and effective preparation works.

How to Prepare Effectively for a Job Interview

Here are some simple and easy exercises which will help with your interview preparation and will boost your chances of interview success. Do spend time with these; the more time you spend on your interview preparation the higher your chances of success. This has been proven time and again and really is the key to success in your job interview.

1. Know Yourself
This is all about being familiar with your skills and what you can bring to the role. To help clarify what those are, spend time completing these exercises:

a. Jot down what you consider to be your Key Strengths, your Unique Selling Points and your Positive Personal Qualities.
b. Review your CV, becoming very familiar with all aspects of it.
c. Select what you consider to be your Top Three Achievements and develop a story relating to each, which demonstrates what you did, the steps or actions you took and very importantly the benefits you delivered.
d. Finally, create a Personal Statement for yourself, starting with your name, your profession or job, your recent experience and achievements, your key strengths and how you can use your skills within the job you are being interviewed for.

2. Know the Job
When preparing for a job interview you must research the job fully. This may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many candidates do not have a clear idea of just what they will be doing in the job. This is a key part of your interview preparation and it is vital that you know what is involved in the job, which skills are prized and what key competencies your employer is searching for.

Make sure you have a copy of the Job Description, Person Specification and that you know all of the competencies required. This will help you practice and prepare for the questions asked.

3. Know the Employer
Early on in the interview, I will very often ask a candidate what they know about the company or what they think about our products or services. If they cannot answer these questions well, it becomes very obvious they have not done any interview preparation and I would have to wonder why they want to work here in the first place.

As part of your interview preparation, you should also carry out research into the industry as well as the company. Look for news about current events and trends in and continue on to explore further details about the company. Are they planning on bringing out new products, change location, add new staff or indeed make staff redundant.

While I would ideally recommend more time, just 15 minutes is all it takes to gather enough information to format a respectable answer to these questions and convince me that you are genuinely interested.

4. Prepare for the Interview Logistics
Another vital part of your interview preparation and one that many candidates forget is to plan the actual logistics for the interview. Consider how you are going to get to the interview, which route will you take, how long is the journey. You might even want to make a trial journey in advance to be sure of all the details.
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the interview.

5. Personal Presentation is a Part of Interview Preparation
You must dress appropriately as this could impact on your chances of success. While the clothing choice is somewhat determined by the job itself, it is always best to dress a step above what the company’s employees wear. Clothing for the interview should be conservative, clean, pressed, and readily available the morning of the interview.

Prepare For Your Job Interview Online

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It has been featured in The Guardian and Mirror national newspapers, Personnel Today, and on National Television (the BBC) and is being promoted by Reed Recruitment and the Telegraph Jobs so you know it’s good.

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About the Author |
Interview Coach and skilled HR professional. Contributor to our BlueSky Interviews and InterviewGold web sites. Google+