It may seem obvious, but in the first instance, it is important to consider preparing for the logistical factors of attending an interview.
Where is it?
How are you going to get there? If you’re using public transport, make sure to thoroughly check bus/train times and keep up-to-date with any delays
How long will it take you to get there? (make sure to leave with plenty of time, it’s better to be sitting in the car park for 30 minutes than to be running late.
What’s the dress code? Is it full-suit or smart casual?
Is there parking? Is it free or will I need to bring change to pay?
2. Company Research
Demonstrating that you’ve fully researched a company is vital to achieving a job offer, you must be able to show that you have a good knowledge of not only facts and figures but also company culture and recent developments.
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
What is the company niche?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of using them over a competitor?
When was the company established? How have they grown/changed since then?
Who are the Directors?
What is the size of the company? Roughly how many employees do they have?
What is their company culture like? (It’s a good idea to check their social media channels to get a feel for this)
Have they won any awards? If so, what and when?
Have they been in the press lately and why?
What do other employees think of the company? (www.glassdoor.co.uk is a great tool to read real employee reviews on the company)
3. Interviewer Research
People often neglect researching the actual people that are interviewing them, but this is a really great way to be able to build a rapport with them as well as gaining more of an insight into the business. The best way to do this is to view their Linkedin profiles and employee profile’s on the company website.
Here are some things to look out for:
What’s their job title? Where do they fit into the business?
What has their own career paths looked like?
Have they progressed with this company and if so, how?
What kind of roles/companies did they work for prior to their current position?
Do they have any hobbies? (If you do have mutual hobbies this could be a great way to break the ice)
Have they had any recent achievements, promotions or awards?
4. Role Research
Of course, you must show that you have a strong knowledge of the job role as this will make it easier to demonstrate how your skillset and experience is applicable.
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
What would you be doing on a day-to-day basis?
What are the working hours? Is there any flexibility? How often is overtime required?
What is the salary range?
What skills do you need to make you successful in this role?
How much of the role is made up of different duties? (e.g. what percentage is office-based/field-based or new business/account management, depending on the role you’re applying for)
What would your career path look like following this role?
What skills do you have? What skills do you lack?
What aspects of the role do you think you will enjoy most/least?
Whilst you must show that you know the company and role and are set on joining them specifically, throughout the interview it’s your job to sell you.
Here are some things to consider:
What skills do you have that are required for the role?
What specific achievements do you have that will demonstrate your success?
What are the moments you’re proud of? (either academically, in your professional life or in your personal life)
What personality attributes do you have that will benefit you for this role?
What skills do you lack for the role? (try and be creative in thinking of a way to demonstrate that you do have these skills or the potential to easily gain them)
How can you provide evidence for your success? (e.g. promotions, sales statistics, awards)
How do you come across? (make sure that you’re well-presented, smiley, confident and use open body language)
How is your skillset/interests/experience applicable to not only the role but also the company?
This is potentially the most important part of the interview. Asking intelligent questions about the company/role is a brilliant way to show that you’ve done your research and that you’re genuinely keen to proceed.
Click here for some examples of questions you could ask.