As a recruiter, I often found one of the most overlooked areas by candidates is interview preparation, with a little preparation a candidate can improve their chances to land that perfect role because to undersell yourself when it has taken so much work to get the interview in the first place is a huge shame. So here is my post on the “5 Things to Do Before an Interview”.
I believe that the simplest way to increase your chances of success at an interview starts before you even step into the building, as it is so often said across all areas of life preparation is key, please insert generic and laboured LinkedIn meme of a former President making a statement about preparation with an image of an iceberg.
Below are what I believe to be the 5 steps required to significantly improve your chances of success at interview.
1. Understand the company
From all the things I will mention in this ‘TOP 5’ if you only have time to do one of them this is the most important. This simple step demonstrates to the interviewer that you have taken the interview process seriously and shown commitment by preparing, an additional benefit is direct to you it helps you understand if this is really the company for you.
When researching a company the key areas to look at are;
- What they do
- Why they do it
- Company Culture
2. Read the Job Description
Understanding the role you are applying for seems basic and if it is similar to your current position this step can often be overlooked, equally it is when overlooked this step can end up talking yourself out of the role you’re hoping to land. If you are fortunate enough to be working with a knowledgeable recruiter when applying for a role they should help talk you through the key points of a role and what the interviewer/company will be looking for, understanding these details and ensuring you are clear on how your experience links back to them will help raise your stock.
3. Research the Interviewers
I have known people argue this point and have even been told it is a bit ‘stalkery’, and I understand why people think that way, I would argue we live in an information age and if you have the opportunity to gain an advantage with data that is publicly accessible you would be mad not too. Equally, I would not research your interviewer and walk into the interview saying congratulations on your recent engagement, I believe the research done here is meant to be subtle, find common ground with your interviewer and be conscious of this common ground when talking about your experiences or interest.
Additionally, if they have written blogs or a detailed summary on their LinkedIn, read them, take note of the language they use, do they describe things with visual representations? If you can use this back to them it is a great way to build rapport.
4. Think of Some answers
I am yet to be in an interview or have feedback from a candidate whereby the interviewer hasn’t asked questions, furthermore, I have found that in the majority of interviews you will have similar core questions such as:
“Why do you want to leave your current employer?”
“What is your greatest weakness?”
“Why do you want to join us?”
“Where do you want to be in 3 years?”
Preparing your answers to the questions will not only ensure that you don’t blurt out a crazy answer, it will mean that when answering you will come across confident, considered and someone that would be an asset to their team and business.
5. Prepare questions for the interviewer
A key thing to remember about the interview is that this is as much of an opportunity for you to find out about your prospective employer as it is for them to find out about you and this is something the majority of employers will be thinking too. If you want to find out more about questions to ask at an interview I will be releasing
Doing all of the above should hopefully mean that when you walk into the room you feel more prepared for the interview, giving you the foundations to show yourself in the best possible light coming across informed and confident.
What is your essential preparation for interviews is it different from the above? Please leave your comments below I would love to hear from you!
Here is a link to my original post on LinkedIn