Your first interview, or any interview, can be scary. You need to be able to present yourself in a way that is employable and professional. We’ve outlined what we believe to be the most important steps of preparation before any interview.
1) How should you dress?
You can’t go wrong with something smart; make sure whatever you wear has been washed, ironed and that your shoes are polished – this way you’ll look fresh and professional for your first impressions with any potential employers.
Things to avoid would include:
- Jeans or leggings
- Trainers or converse styled shoes
- Branded/logo t-shirts
- Crop/mid rising tops
- Work-out gear/gym clothing
2) Knowing your CV
Make sure you know everything on your CV back to front, employers might ask you questions about a job you’ve had in the past, or an experience you’ve listed. Make sure you have enough to say about what you’ve done so it doesn’t look like you’ve made it up!
3) List your references
Prepare a list of references beforehand: you’ll need their name, email address, phone number, title, business and department. You should also write a brief explanation about your relationship with them in case you’re asked how you know them or why you’ve listed them.
4) Research the company
Make sure you know some basic information about the company you’re interviewing for: see if they have a website, any articles written about them or if they have a handout with some ideas about what their goals and values are – this way you can demonstrate that you’ve done some research by mentioning them in your interview and how you would fit into their values.
You should also research into the role you’re applying for and make sure you understand exactly what it is they’re asking from you. Prepare some questions about the role or the business so that you can show you’ve done your research.
It would also be a good idea to call the company in advance to find out what type of interview they will be performing so that you can ready yourself: this might be a group or one-on-one.
5) Make sure you can answer common questions
Make sure you have some answers to common interview questions, the top 10 we’ve picked include:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
- What would your colleagues and friends consider as your best qualities?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What do you already know about our company?
- What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
6) Get the right directions and mindset
Make sure you’ve printed off the directions to where you’re being interviewed then do a trial run, or have your journey mapped out so that you know exactly where you’re supposed to be on the day (so there’s one less worry). Give yourself plenty of time to get there; it doesn’t matter if you’re early, because your interviewer will be impressed by your punctuality, and you’ll have time to get into the right mindset.
Be calm, collect your thoughts, and understand why you are going for this job and how much you want it. Having some time to think before actually going into the interview will give you time to un-fluster yourself and ensure you’re putting your best self forward when you greet your interviewer.
If you follow these handy steps, you should be super confident for your interview – meaning you’ll be more likely to impress your employer and land the job you’re applying for.