Not sure how to prepare for an interview? Our pre-interview checklist means you won’t miss out anything important when doing your interview preparation.
When it comes to sailing through a job interview, preparation is always key - whether you're a first-time job hunter or a seasoned veteran. Regardless of the industry you’re in, interview prep for any role should have a few key items on your to-do list, such as doing your homework on the company, practicing answers to difficult questions, building your confidence, and even planning your interview outfit.
We’ve put together an interview preparation checklist so that you don’t miss out any of the essentials when preparing for the big day.
Doing some research on the company is a must before for any type of job interview-whether it's face-to-face or by phone, video, or through assessment centres. Start by visiting the company’s website and social media profiles, then do some online research to find news articles and press releases about the business. You may find out about key clients and partnerships, competitors, business mergers and acquisitions, or expansion into new markets.
Your research should give you a better understanding of the company's values and recent achievements, whereas company newsletters and information on their social channels can give you an insight into the culture and their customer brand. Don’t forget to check out Glassdoor for reviews by previous and current employees to get an idea of what it’s really like to work there.
Besides the company itself, brush up on the wider industry –the current climate, competitors, trends, challenges, and forecasts.
Thoroughly doing your homework on the company and the industry should help to boost your credibility and confidence ahead of the interview. You’ll be able to demonstrate a good level of knowledge to the employer or recruiter, as well as showing them how interested and invested you are in a career there.
As part of your interview preparation, take the time to go through every inch of the job description and person specification, matching your skills and experience to what they’re looking for. You should prepare to answer questions about your reasons for applying, and why you’re qualified for the job. If it’s a popular and well-established role, why not research similar positions at different companies, to get a better understanding of the day-to-day activities and responsibilities you can expect?
For almost all job interviews, you should expect to be answer a series of competency-based questions. The employer or recruiter will ask you to describe a real-life instance where you demonstrated a particular skill or behaviour. The assumption is that past behaviour is the best way to assess a candidate's potential future performance.
Think about the key qualities, experience and skills mentioned in the job description, and plan out 5-10 real-life examples that you can share in the interview. Not sure where to start? The competencies will depend on the exact role you’re going for, but employers often look for the following key skills in candidates:
The STAR model is the best way to answer these questions in an interview. STAR stands for:
While it’s not possible to prepare for absolutely every interview question, there are some ever-popular questions that have a good chance of coming up in your interview. Have a think about how you’d respond to these:
By now your interview preparation should be well underway –here’s a few final tips to help you on the day and ensure you give your best.