The job interview is a crucial part of your job search. It’s an opportunity for the employer to evaluate your suitability for the role, and for you to determine if the role and organisation are right for you.
It is absolutely critical that you take some time out to prepare before attending any job interview. Even if it is framed as just an ‘informal’ meeting, turning up to an interview prepared is a sign of respect and can demonstrate your interest in the role.
In addition to company research, it is worth doing a quick search on the industry generally and keeping an eye out for industry specific issues and news. If there are particularly relevant events or pressures facing the industry, understanding these can help you demonstrate your knowledge and build rapport with your interviewers.
Be familiar with potential competitors and visit their websites too; keeping up to date on the latest industry trends and innovation is crucial for potential candidates and appeals to hiring managers.
Try and think of a specific instance when your skills have been tested and proven successful and practice recounting your problem solving solutions in detail.
First impressions count. Positive body language is vital, so be aware of your tone, eye contact and how you are positioned in the chair throughout the interview.
Make sure you have identified situational examples for behavioural based questions you might be asked. The STAR method is an effective way to ensure you articulate your experience in a clear and concise manner, while covering all relevant details.
S’ situation – ‘What was the situation or the problem I needed to solve?’
‘T’ task – ‘What task/s did I perform?’
‘A’ action – ‘What action did I take?’
‘R’ result – ‘What result did I achieve?’
One of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and to engage your interviewers in conversation is to ask open and relevant questions. Be careful not to ask basic questions that you should know the answer to. Think, of how you can add value to the business, either through reduced costs or increased profits. For example “If I’m successful in obtaining this position, what do you think will be my biggest challenge?”
Some standard questions you could prepare in advance are:
In case of a completely unavoidable situation, make sure you have the contact details of the person you are meeting with, or your recruiter and give them a quick courtesy call to explain.