Excelling in an interview may seem challenging but the reality is that candidates who put in the preparation ahead of the interview are the ones who perform the best. It’s essential to take the time to prepare in advance. The 5 P’s – ‘Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance’ – is well known for a good reason. Because it works!
As soon as you submit your application for a role, start thinking about the interview. Although it may seem premature, it’s quite likely that at some point you may be asked to attend an interview at short notice. By putting in the preparation early, you’ll ensure you’ve perfected your answers ahead of time.
Think about questions you could be asked and prepare your answers. Practice them aloud to ensure that you can deliver them confidently and succinctly on the day.
Know your CV and the role that you’re applying for
Expect to be asked questions about your CV and be prepared to talk about your career history to date. You’ll be required to talk about the content of your CV in detail, around the following areas:
An interviewer may also ask you questions about career choices you’ve made and your reasons for leaving each role.
Review the job description to ensure you understand the role that you’re being interviewed for and the person specification. This will enable you to pre-empt questions that you may be asked and prepare confident answers.
Researching the interviewer
Understanding who’s interviewing you is a vital part of your interview preparation. Researching the interviewer will give you a clearer indication of their role and the relationship they would have with you. It can also help you to predetermine the interview questions they could ask.
For example, if they’re a Finance Director they may ask technical finance related questions around saving costs / improving efficiency, whereas a HR Advisor may ask more generic, competency based questions.
A great way to research the interviewer is to review their LinkedIn profile.
Research the company
Researching the company prior to the interview will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the organisation and industry. You should be able to answer the question ‘what do you know about the company?’ with confidence.
Areas to research include:
You must appear knowledgeable about what’s happening at the company and within the industry, so keep an eye on recent press articles and business news. If you’re applying for a role in finance or accountancy, it will be expected that you’ve researched the company accounts or financial data. You can contact Companies House and access the relevant documents for a small fee.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Renovo.
Working one to one with a career coach can give you the practice and confidence you need to stand out at your next interview.