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How to Prepare for an Interview

  • Publish Date: Posted 4 months ago

​So, you’ve worked hard and secured an interview. Congratulations! That’s a great achievement, and a positive step towards securing your next role.

But since recruiters select an average of 6 candidates for first-round interviews, a job offer is not guaranteed.

So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting that job offer?

There’s an old saying that goes ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’. Or, in other words, if you put lots of time and energy into preparing for a job interview you will give yourself the best chances of success. And, if for any reason, you’re not lucky this time, at least you won’t be kicking yourself later or be full of regrets that you should’ve done more.

So, what is the best way to prepare for an interview? We’ve created a list for you to work from in this blog post.

Prepare for an Interview by Reviewing the Role

Start by reviewing the job description, several times. It’s amazing how many people don’t read every part of the JD and end up missing critical details.

But also, make a note of key points from the job description. This way you’ll understand the role and get your mind thinking about what questions you should ask.

Review Your CV Against the Person Specification

As part of your review, make sure to match any experience on your CV to the Person Specification.

Then, think of some solid examples of where you made an impact in a previous role for each of these points. For example, an interview panel will want to know what you did and what the result was. And having some examples prepared and rehearsed in advance will let your experience stand out.

Don’t worry if you can’t cover every point in the job description. After all, you want to grow in the role. But knowing how well you match their requirements will improve your ability to showcase your experience and skills.

Check the Interview Structure

Do you know who will be interviewing you? Make sure to find out their role in the company and any extra information that may be helpful.

Also, check over the structure of the interview. Will it be 60 minutes of competency-based questions? A presentation? Or an informal chat? Be clear so you can plan for the right examples.

Prepare for an Interview by Researching the Company

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to make sure you can show you know something about the company. To do this you can look at:

• The ‘About Us’ section of their website

• Social Media accounts

• Industry publications

• Any reports they’ve released

Check the Annual Report

Make sure to also look at Companies House to find their annual report and accounts. Use it to check out who their senior staff are, the no. of employees, annual turnover and the locations they’re based in.

Doing this will help you to understand the size of the company and how you’ll fit into it.

Prepare for Interview Questions

So, you’ve prepared a few examples of when you’ve made a difference in your workplace and done some reading on the employer. And while that’s a very important part of interview preparation, there’s still work to be done!

Prepare Responses to Common Questions

There’s no doubt an interview will ask at least one standard interview question. And we’ve released a previous blog onthe most common types of interview questions to read over.

Prepare Your Own Questions

There’s nothing worse than not having at least a few questions ready to ask the panel. And even if you do plan one or two, there’s a chance the answers may be covered during the interview.

Not preparing questions looks like you don’t care about the role. So, go back to the research you did on the company. This information can help your mind stimulate some ideas for open-ended questions, such as where they see the company going.

Creating a long list of questions not only shows how interested you are but will help you to think about the company, the role and decide if it’s the right position for you.

How Should You Present Yourself?

It’s well known that people make judgments about each other in the first 7 seconds of meeting. And that means it’s essential to make a winning first impression, every time.

But with more meetings happening online, an important step in preparing for a job interview is to plan what you’ll wear. Turning up to an informal Zoom chat dressed in a three-piece suit may not win your audience over. But showing up in jeans and a T-shirt won’t either.

So, what’s the right approach?

Online Meeting/Zoom

Online video interviews are common these days. And we recommend you take them seriously by dressing well. The best way to work out if you’re dressed in the correct attire is to look at what others in the company are wearing, on the website or at the same level as you.

In-Person Meetings

If you do meet up in person then make sure you dress to impress. But we also recommend you do the following:

1. Get There On Time – Plan your journey and call ahead if you think you’ll be late.

2. Be enthusiastic – It’s important to show the company how much you want the job.

3. Stay confident – Keeping eye contact, smiling and nodding and using your hands to express yourself are all ways you can show you’re up to the task.

4. Remain calm – In the end, we all get nervous before job interviews. But if you learn to use your nervous energy in a positive way and stay cool, it can help you stay focused.

5. Keep Going – Whatever happens in the interview, keep going and do your best!

If you’re on the search for a new role, Metalis can help. Take a look at our jobs board, and if you get to the interview stage we will supply you with all the interview prep you need.