To help you perform your best, we’ve put together some tips looking at how to do well at interviews, which we hope will help with your preparations.
Research your potential employer
Good preparation can help you feel much more relaxed and perform better. Research the company you are applying to – visit the website and try to understand key corporate messages and themes. What does the company do? What are its products and what technologies does it use? Who are its competitors and major clients? Are there any press releases about recent sales or contracts?
Often the first question you’ll be asked is what you know about the company. If you can answer this well, you will be off to a strong start and will feel more confident about the rest of the interview.
Prepare questions and answers
Think about the questions you could be asked and prepare responses. Why do you want the job? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What could you bring to the role? What are your long term goals? Just as the interviewer will prepare questions for you, make sure you think of some questions for them – this makes you look interested, informed and enthusiastic about the role.
Use specific examples
If you are asked a general non-technical question – for example how you managed risk in a project – it is much better to refer to specific examples of how you have managed risk rather than give theoretical, textbook answers.
Refresh your skills
Employers sometimes comment that candidates aren’t familiar with certain basic skills which are important for the role they are applying for. To avoid this, try to refresh some of the simpler parts of your experience and skill-set as well as the more technical elements.
Double check your supplies
Turn up prepared with a copy of your CV and the job specification. Take ID and certificates of your qualifications if you’re asked to. If you are presenting, check what equipment is provided and that it is compatible with your presentation.
Plan your journey
Being late will make you stressed which is never a good start to an interview. Plan how you will get there – check the route, how long it should take and if you are driving find out if there is on-site parking. If you have obtained your interview via a recruitment agency, ask them about the site you will be visiting – a good agency will be familiar with client sites and should be able to give you advice on the best ways to get there, when they arrange your interview for you.
Make a good first impression
Turn up smartly dressed, even if the role won’t require it on a day to day basis. The way you present yourself at an interview makes a statement about your work – so even if the company is a jeans and t-shirt kind of place wear smart business dress to the interview.