5 Steps to Interview Preparation – how will you win your next job?

You got that interview, congratulations! Now the most important step of the interview process begins, your preparation.

1. Know your resume

Your resume is what got you the first call. Don’t forget to take a hard copy of your resume along to the interview. A fresh hard copy is always nice to hand over to the potential employer and also if you are filling out any additional paperwork for an organisation you have an accurate record of your employment in hand.

And most importantly know your resume in detail. Take the time to read through your responsibilities and key achievements listed  – nothing is more embarrassing than the interviewer asking you a question about your resume and you can’t remember what they are referring to!

2. Dress to impress

Not all of us will work in roles that require us to wear a suit and tie daily, but making a good first impression is critical. Rule of thumb is always to dress above the level of the role that you are going for.  Sloppy, unprofessional presentation will reflect poorly on your preparation and commitment for the interview.

Professional presentation is not just about what you wear, but also your readiness for the interview performance. So remember:

• Get a good night sleep – one can often get nervous about an interview but allow your body time to rest so that you are more alert and able to answer questions with a clear head. You don’t want to appear like you are lacking interest or look like a zombie.

• Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready for  the interview – if that means getting up earlier than usual then it will make a difference. Usually if you are rushing, your appearance will often reflect this rush

• Eat something before the interview – Again this will keep you more alert and active during the interview process and will usually reflect a more positive mood

3. Know where you are going – Another important factor that will save you rushing at the last minute or even being late for the interview is finding out the company location. Look up the company address online and then look into the nearest parking areas and local public transport options. This will not only save you rushing at the last minute but if you leave early enough it can help you in the event of unexpected traffic or transport delays.

4. Who is interviewing you?

Make sure you know the name and position of who your interview or interviewers. In your preparation take some time to understand who they are, their experience, and where they sit within the organisation you are interviewing for. Also take the time to research and understand the details of the company – what does their website say? Have they been featured in the news or social media? What attracts you to work and grow within this organisation?

5. What do you need to know?

Especially if this is your dream job you don’t want to walk out of the interview realising that you had forgotten to ask a question or take up the interviewer’s time by doing the ‘umm’s’ and ‘ah’s’ trying to recall what questions you were wanting to ask.

Make sure that your questions are tailored to the organisation that you are applying for, the position requirements and even if there are any opportunities within the future for this role.

As a previous candidate and also working for a recruitment consultancy I can now say that I have witnessed both the excellent and awful in interview preparation. And I can say with confidence that if you want to win that next great job, then preparation is key so that you are ready to perform at your best!

What do you think is most important in preparation?