Preparing for job interviews

Although it’s not easy, applying for a job and being invited to an interview is the easy part. You now have to learn the art of interviewing in order to get the job you want!

Background research

You need to have a thorough understanding of the company that has invited you to a job interview and gather information about the company

Understand what the company is about using the materials you have gathered.  

Review your submitted CV. Your cover letter was your marketing tool, as was the listing of your education and work history. Know your credentials well.

Interview questions

You will be asked questions about the position available, the company, your experiences and even hypothetical’s. The best way to prepare yourself for these types of questions, which can probably be answered the same way in other interviews, is to come up with a list of possible questions and your answers to them. 

Your questions

You are applying for a job and just as the interviewer is scoping you out, it’s your opportunity to find out information as well. 

Base your questions about the company’s current performance, future direction, the development potential in the role you are applying for or anything else that you really want to know about. It shows your interest and it is your only chance to find out information that may increase your interest in the position or even make you think that it’s not the ideal role. Use the opportunity to ask a couple of questions.

Interview etiquette

 Etiquette is important to make a good impression!

  • Be on time: Running late is a bad sign of punctuality. Avoid being late by researching the address and travel time to reach it.
  • Dress well: Wear your most professional outfit.
  • Be natural: Speak clearly and positively when delivering your responses especially about your experiences and your skills set. 
  • Listen: You need to listen to what the interviewer says, in case you can utilise that information in your responses.
  • Refer to the job requirements: Avoid appearing unprepared. Use the information you have gathered from the job advert and the company background research to show you are prepared.
  • Remain calm: Be cautious with your body language. Do not think of it as a cross-examination.
  • Remain positive: Even when discussing negative or challenging experiences, be sure to finish it off with a positive conclusion that you got from that experience.
  • Be succinct: Do not waffle. Answer only what you are asked. Get straight to the point by mentioning your experience, skills attained and how you can bring such qualities to the vacant position.
  • Practice: Practice the types of questions you might get with a family member or friend.
  • Remain hopeful: If you are not offered the job or a second interview, stay positive. If possible, call the recruitment agency or interviewer from the company for some feedback.  Most interviewers are happy to do so. Do not be offended. Instead, take it on board and use the feedback to perfect your next job interview.