10 May 2017 · by Laura Smith Preparing for a Job Interview
So you have an interview confirmed (congratulations!) – but what now?
Firstly, check you have been told all the information you need by your agency or by the company if you applied directly:
- Time and date of interview
- Full address
- Contact of who you are meeting
- Full job description (if you didn’t have it already)
- What style of interview it will be
The style of interview is important –
Some companies only have a one-stage interview, so it may be a bit longer and more detailed; whilst other companies may have 2 or even 3 stages if they need to test any specialist skills or if they have a long list of candidates they want to see, they also may have different people within the business that want to meet candidates which could be why there are different stages.
Use your best judgement as to how much research and preparation to do, even if the first stage is an ‘informal chat’ you should still prepare the below as a minimum…
- Once you have all of the details above, the first thing to do is to check the address and your journey. Make sure you have plenty of time and allow for delays (especially if using public transport!), you should aim to arrive around 10 mins before your scheduled time. A great mobile phone app for this is City Mapper.
- Research the company – their website, what do they do, how long have they been established and how has the business developed over time? What makes them stand out to you and why do you want to work for them?
- Check the job description – there will be keywords and skills that should stand out, if your agency hasn’t briefed you on what they are looking for already, try to work it out from the job description and compare it with skills on your CV.
If there is anything you have forgotten to put on your CV that is relevant – write it down so you have a reminder to showcase it to the person you are meeting – it might make you stand out from other candidates!
- Competency questions and answers – check out our tips for answering this style of question here.
- Prepare some questions – Your future employer will expect you to ask some questions at the end of the interview. Around 3 questions asking more about the role, day-to-day tasks, more about the company or even about future progression will show them that you are really interested.
- Plan what you are wearing – even if the company dress is casual, you should always wear smart clothes to an interview, it shows you are professional and that you are making an effort, plus if you don’t plan what to wear (especially for us ladies) it could easily make you late when debating between outfits!
What to take with you on the day:
- Two copies of your CV, one for you to follow when going through experience, and just in case the interviewer doesn’t have a copy, one for them. Even if they aren’t 100% prepared, show them that you are!
- A copy of the job description – with any notes/questions highlighted.
- A copy of the interview confirmation – especially so that you can feed back to your agency afterwards!
- If you have a portfolio of work that relates to the role – take that with you. Having physical examples of your work always stands out when you are trying to explain a project.
Hopefully that will help you prep for the big day – and don’t forget to follow up with your agency after the interview to give feedback, and get feedback from the company too.