7 key tips to effective job interview preparation

Interview Media

Interviews are often the toughest part of the recruitment process for candidates. When you’re sitting in front of a recruiter or potential employer there is nowhere to hide. However, the interview is also an opportunity to shine and set yourself apart from the competition. If you want to ace your interviews, preparation is going to be key. Here are 7 ways that you can prepare effectively for your next job interview:

1. Practice what you want to say

You might feel odd doing it but running through a fake interview with a friend or family member is invaluable practice for the real thing. Give them a list of the kinds of questions that you’re likely to encounter and ask them not to hold back on challenging you. At the very least you’ll get used to forming what you want to say into concise and intelligent responses.

2. Look into your interviewers

You don’t need to scour personal social media pages to see where they went on holiday this year, but some professional-focused research in advance is a big advantage. What trajectory have they taken career-wise, what do they blog about and do they have any passion projects within their sector but outside their role? All of these things can help you to appeal to them as a candidate and get them interested in you for the role.

3. Absorb your CV

Be prepared to be asked about everything on your CV and try to get used to talking about it without having to try and remember why you said what you said. If there is anything on your CV you don’t want to talk about, or which has been embellished, then remove this from the document before you submit it to avoid awkward questions in the interview.

4. Get ready the day before

Do a trial run to the interview location and make sure you’ve got a good idea of timing if the traffic is bad. Check the weather forecast, work out what transport you’re going to take and time your journey so that you arrive at least 30 minutes before your interview spot. If you’re really early then find a coffee shop nearby and wait, as this is better than catching your interviewer off-guard on the day.

5. Look the part

First impressions count in an interview and the way you look is always going to have an influence on that. If in doubt, opt for business professional over business casual or ultra casual – unless you know the company culture is jeans and T-shirts. Take care of all the details too, from having clean nails and hair, to removing jewellery that might be distracting. It sounds simple but so many people show up looking too casual or just a little bit unkempt and it can affect your interview performance if you feel judged or out of place.

6. Know the business you’re applying to

Be prepared to answer questions about the business as an employer and provide better answers than “you pay the most.” What else can you find out about the company – do they top employer polls, are they socially responsible, are they industry leaders or do they have clients you particularly want to work with?

7. Be yourself

There’s nothing more winning in a candidate than authenticity and enthusiasm so, no matter how nervous you are, let your genuine personality shine through.

We work with a wide range of candidates to help everyone find the right role. Contact the team at 2i Recruit today to have a chat about your long and short term career plans as well as your goals and values.