How To Prepare For An Interview [Video]

Learning how to prepare for an interview does not need to be difficult. Garry Barcoe, our Senior Principal Consultant Infrastructure & Cloud, shares some tips for how to be as prepared as possible, presenting yourself in the best way and what to do after the interview.

In this video, we’re going to look at how to prepare for an interview to make sure you leave a lasting impression with your interviewer. It’s important to put the same amount of effort into getting ready in the days leading up to your interview as you do on the day of the interview and then when you follow up.

If you’re counting down the days to your next interview, hopefully, these hints will help you get in the mood so you can put your best foot forward and be as confident as possible.

How To Prepare For An Interview: The Days Before.

It’s vitally important that you do your research and know the organisation inside and out. This is arguably the most important thing you can do in the run-up to the interview. Understand exactly why you would be a perfect fit and make sure you are up to date on any news items regarding the organisation.

While doing your research, check sources like Glassdoor and as you can often find tips from previous employees on the interview process. You might even find questions that are commonly asked as well. Look up the interviewers on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This will help humanise them and might also reveal some shared interests.

Practice With Mock Interviews.

Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What questions would you ask? Prepare your answers for a number of different interview styles and practice them in front of a mirror.

Think about the reason you might not get the job and be prepared for any questions that might come up so you can fight your corner. Arrange mock interviews with your friends, families or your recruiter. Make sure they ask the tough questions as if you only practice the questions you feel most prepared for, you might get thrown when a real tough question comes up in the actual interview.

Getting To The Interview And Presenting Yourself Well.

Make a practice trip in advance of the interview day. Make sure you know how to get there, don’t just rely on Google maps to get you there on time. It’s important also to make sure you have the correct entrance as many office buildings have different entrances for different companies. Don’t be afraid to ask a security guard or office manager to ensure you know exactly where you are going and don’t get lost.

It’s important to present yourself well too. Plan what you’re going to wear at least one full day before the interview. Make sure everything is clean and ironed and that you’re not wearing it for the first time.

Always choose formal or business attire even if you expect to wear casual clothes if you get the job. That can be tempered a bit for software engineering so smart casual in some scenarios for most of the software houses is fine. So chinos and a shirt would be a good balance for this type of situation.

Finally, print out a copy of your CV the day before. If you are doing a PowerPoint presentation, have a hard copy of that just in case something goes wrong with the computer.

On The Day Of The Interview.

On the day of the interview, it’s paramount that you arrive on time if not a little early. However, not too early, so arrive 10 minutes early but not more than 20 minutes.

Greet everyone in the company, the receptionist, the assistants, the security as you would the CEO. Treat everyone with respect. It’s common decency anyway but interviewers may ask later on how polite you are. Don’t forget to be confident, they are the ones calling you for an interview, they’ve obviously seen something that they like. So go in there with the attitude that you’re going to nail this job interview and you’ll stand a far better chance.

How To Prepare For An Interview: At The Interview.

At the interview itself, when you first meet the interviewers, give a firm handshake that signifies confidence. Don’t crush their knuckles and practice this as part of your mock interviews. Be aware of your body language as well, sit up straight, look the interviewer in the eye and smile often. Try not to cross your arms or fidget.

When answering questions, tell a story to add colour and give specific examples of how you were successful in previous roles.

If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, make sure you bring everyone into the conversation. Don’t just look at one individual.

Ask questions about the company culture and how you can be a success in the job if you are hired. Be friendly but don’t forget that you are always being assessed even if the interview becomes less formal. Even on the way out, this can be a critical moment. Imagine the interview is done, you’re shaking hands and leaving and then you make an inappropriate comment. This can ruin all the good work that you did in the interview.

After The Interview: Follow Up.

Learning how to prepare for an interview doesn’t stop just because the interview is over. The best people that we’ve ever had interview for us, look at it as a process. The first step is to write down all the questions that you could have answered better so that you can prepare them for next time.

Learning from your mistakes or shortcomings is not just for different positions or companies, a lot of organisations do second and third round interviews and similar questions come up again. So knowing where you could have tweaked the answer a little bit better is going to be really useful for you.

Get feedback on how the interview went, ideally when you are working with a recruiter, like Stelfox, you’ll get full disclosure from them about what’s going on and what happened. If you didn’t get the offer, it’s vital that you understand why.

Finally, don’t lose heart. Landing your perfect job can be a long process and it can be disheartening when an interview does not go your way but remember, with each interview, you are honing your interview skills and learning more about how to prepare for an interview.

How To Prepare For An Interview: Top Tips.

  • Do your research and know the company inside and out.
  • Look your interviewers up on LinkedIn and other social networks.
  • Practice with mock interviews and don’t forget the tough questions.
  • Make a practice run to make sure you know how to get to the interview.
  • Be on time.
  • Know what you’re going to wear and make sure it’s all clean and ironed.
  • Treat everyone with respect. Not just in your interview, do this anyway.
  • Look everyone in the eye.
  • Be confident, they asked you to be there.
  • Look at the interview as part of a process, learn from your experience.

To find out more about how Stelfox can help you land your next interview and be as prepared as possible email or call us directly on +353 (0)1 679 3182 to be matched with the best person to handle your case.

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