Interview prep checklist
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Interview formats are evolving and it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to do ‘character interviews’ ahead of the standard formal interview. Whether you are heading into a character interview or a formal interview, we think it is important to be prepared.
It is natural to be nervous and you aren’t going to know the answer to every question, but that’s ok. If you are prepared you are bound to be able to steer the conversation back on track.
Having a simple check list in place for your interview preparation can really help ease those last minute nerves. The feeling you get when you can look at the list and can tick off each and every point will give you an instant confidence boost that you are prepared and ready for the interview!
Broadly speaking there are two main areas of conversation in an interview, you and the job. We've created a simple checklist below to help you ensure you have both bases covered.
1. First Impressions
Once a bad first impression is made, it can be difficult to shake. Make sure you arrive early, but not too early! 10 minutes shows you are eager but does not inconvenience the interviewer. Dress appropriately, be polite and smile!
2. Your 30 second intro
“So, tell us a bit about yourself?” can be one of the most awkward questions if you aren’t prepared. You know you, of course you do, but the interviewer probably doesn’t want to hear the first thing that pops into your head like what your favourite food is or how much you love Corrie! Think of a few key facts about yourself that show your personality but reflect on your work ethic and skills. For example, if it is a leadership role you are applying for, telling them that you are the eldest of several siblings is personal but can show you would have natural leadership abilities without you having to even say the words.
3. Your CV
Make sure you have a thorough read through your CV. Take note of anything you think might be of interest to the interview and be ready to talk about it.
Anything you can do to make your interview stand out from the crowd in a positive way is great. Props can be an excellent way of adding another dimension to your interview and are particularly important in certain roles where you create or make something tangible. If you have a portfolio, or any examples of your work take them along!
This almost goes without saying in this day and age but don’t underestimate your potential employer in terms of their social media knowledge. Social media allows them to get a glimpse of who you are before they have even met you. Our advice would be to set your personal social accounts as private.
1. The Company
Do your homework! You won't be expected to know everything but they will expect you to have an idea of who they are as a business and what they do. The company website is the best place to start and can often be all you need to give you enough information to be prepared for the interview. If you want to go the extra mile, check out their social media accounts and any press or media releases too!
2. The job description
The job description is critical. Job descriptions are filled with buzzwords that interviewers will be looking to hear during your interview. Really understanding what this company wants in a person can help you bring your most relevant skills and qualities to the surface and show them that you are the perfect person for the job!
Asking relevant questions shows your interest in the role. The questions you ask will also give the interviewer an idea of you as a person, so think carefully about what you want them to think about the questions you ask. Here are some common interviewee questions and interviewer thoughts:
“What are the opportunities for progression in this role?” = Ambitious
“Is there any training offered within the role?” = Driven to improve
“Is there an annual pay rise or bonus in place?” = Money motivated
“What is the policy on absence?” = Poor attendance history
Follow these simple steps, ticking off each one as you go and we are confident you will be well prepared for your interview.