I recently came across a quote that I thought was very suitable for candidates going to interview:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
It’s always a bit nerve-racking going for an interview, but in my book preparation is the key to success.
If you had just taken those extra minutes on the bus to read through your CV one more time, or if you hadn’t pushed the snooze button that extra time you would have been able to go through those questions that you were a bit unsure of. One extra time. Your choice. Your decision.
So to help you prepare for success, here are my favourite tips:
• Do some research before – check the website, go through their products and speak to people who are working there. Be that person who is one step ahead of all the other candidates who are interviewing with that company.
• Read the job spec. Highlight the things that you are a bit unsure of. Ask people. Google. Search. Find it!
• Use Google and LinkedIn to identify any information about their professional background or interest. It can be good to hear and read other peoples thoughts and experiences.
• Use a mirror. Either an actual mirror or ask your friends and family for help. Speak to them and tell them about the brand and of all of your knowledge regarding this meeting. This will make you more comfortable speaking about it in real life.
• It’s a great feeling to have “minutes to play with” when you are going to a meeting. Why would you put yourself through that humiliation of arriving to late because something happened in the traffic, or because your Google maps decided not to work? Always arrive a few minutes. And always prepare days before just so that you know exactly where you are going and who to meet.
• Make sure that you have your CV printed out or reachable in your smart phone. Use the time to read it through before the interview and refresh yourself on figures and achievements.
• Go to bed at reasonable time and don’t go in on a empty stomach as this will distract you and stop you performing at your best!
• Don’t forget to keep in mind that you need to feel good about them as much as they need to feel good about you. This state of mind could help the nerves a tiny bit.
The most important thing is that you feel comfortable going in to the interview. You know best what works for you, but preparation is always necessary.