Interview Prep | Do Your Homework
Preparing For Your Job Interview
Rocking up to a job interview without having done your research isn't going to win you any points in the popularity stakes. Competition is tough, time is precious, and a recruiter doesn't want to spend the majority of the interview educating you on the ins and outs of their business.
Arm yourself with the knowledge, get in there and strut your stuff. A little pre-interview homework to get you started...
If you want to find out what kind of person your potential new employer has in mind, head for their social media channels. Many companies use Twitter and LinkedIn to showcase their company's culture, so you'll get a good idea about the person they're looking for and how you'll fit in.
Are they creative, eccentric or quirky? Show them your unique sense of style and witty banter (but keep it professional).
Are they driven by a focus on promoting from within? Employees that have listed numerous roles within the company on their LinkedIn profile show that they have grown with the brand. Arm yourself with a plan of where you see your career heading with them.
Are they conservative, traditional, perhaps even slightly behind the times? Relish the opportunity to show how you can bring them up to date with modern technology, processes or ideas, whilst maintaining the culture and values of their brand.
PSYCHO ANALYSE YOURSELF
Are you more of a chair or a plant? Do you like to get the party started or ensure you're the last one standing?
There are several psychometric assessments available online which many companies now use to determine which aspects of your personality meet their criteria. It's clever stuff, and you may be asked to complete one during your interview.
Analyse yourself before the interview and use the results to outline how you'll fit into the team.
THINK OF THE ANSWERS BEFORE YOU'RE ASKED
There's nothing worse than sitting in front of a judging panel, scrabbling for an answer to an on-the-spot question.
Try to imagine the types of questions you might be asked before you even set foot into the interview room, then have the answers to hand ready to fire off.
A great strategy for interview answers is the STAR technique. You might be asked to give an example of a time you exceeded a target or completed a challenging project. Answer these questions including the:
Situation, Task, Action and Result.
GET TO GRIPS WITH YOUR FEELINGS
A potential employer isn't just looking for black and white answers. Yes, you hit your targets, yes you achieved results, but throw in a personal element and it shows passion, energy and a dedication to your work.
When your employer asks you about challenges, successes or achievements, don't just reel off the old 'time was an issue' or 'we won an award'. Tell them how it made you feel. This is the difference between someone that gets a job done and someone that is passionate about getting the job done.
PLAN YOUR OWN INTERROGATION
Everyone knows that the end of an interview usually involved 'Do you have any questions for us?'. So, it's surprising just how many candidates struggle to think up a question to ask. Having no questions comes across as either you already know it all, or you're not particularly interested in getting to know more.
Questions not to ask include 'what's the salary?', 'how many holidays do I get?' or anything that makes you look like a money grabber.
Great questions include 'what are your ambitions for the brand?', 'what makes the team so successful?' and 'what future opportunities are there in this role?'
Open questions are great relationship builders and show the recruiter that you have a genuine interest in the future of their business.