I’ve put together this list of the 10 most important items I considered when I was preparing for an interview. See What you think. And click the image below to get free training to help you to prepare or you can contact me to talk more about your interview strategy
Prepare 8 Core questions
I personally prepared 8 core questions to ask, and I would prepare these questions well in advance. I’ll tell you more about the questions later on, and you will notice that there is a method that you can apply to almost any interview. You can contact me to talk more about your interview strategy
Do some detailed research
Before I could prepare any questions, I would conduct detailed research around key areas, including the business performance. I’d look at company reports to get an overview of how well the business is performing. I would look at news and PR online and in print to understand business performance, but also to gauge if there are any new announcements that the business had made recently around products and services or key successes and milestones. I would then look more deeply into the business’s products and services, particularly those that were relevant to the interview.
I would also look at profiles of people within the business, because this is obviously linked to the business itself. I would look at the CEO, the main managers, people within the business who are doing similar day-to-day work, so that I could gain an understanding of the values and culture of the organisation. I would review the role so that I understood the demands and challenges, as well as the expertise required. The company website is usually a great source of information about the business and its people, but I would go a step further and also look at my prospective team members or, at the very least, look at profiles of people who work in a similar role. I personally find LinkedIn to be a very useful tool for locating and researching company personnel.
Research The Interviewers
Talking about people, it’s important to know in advance who the interviewers will be because you will be able to understand what their role is within the company and what’s important to them in terms of taking the team and business forward. Again, I would use LinkedIn to look at their profiles, to get clues on their role, objectives and responsibilities, to see if there were ways in which I could help them to fulfil their objectives.
Prepare Answers To Typical Questions Like “Tell Me About Yourself”
I would also prepare answers to typical interview questions, like tell me about yourself. What do you know about the company? And, likely, competency-based questions that’s relate to the job description. When I say prepare, I don’t mean just think about answers to those questions, I mean write down, draft answers and refine the answers so that I had an opportunity to practice my responses so that I am ready for the big day.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep to aid performance at interview. I personally need 8 hours sleep to be at my best throughout the day, because I usually end up feeling quite tired towards the end of the day. There’s nothing worse than feeling tired towards the end of the day knowing that you have an interview after work. Know what your optimum level is and make an effort to get a restful sleep.
Find Out What The Weather Will Be Like
I Know the weather forecast is never 100% reliable, but it’s worth having a glance at the prediction for the day of your interview. If it’s likely to rain, then have your umbrella at the ready so that you don’t get drenched. There’s nothing more embarrassing and disconcerting than turning up to an interview soaked from head to toe, because it just takes your mind off your preparation, which hinders your performance.
Find Out Exactly Where The Interview Is
Have you ever been in a situation in which you’ve had an interview at a company that has several offices and you’ve ended up at ? Even if you’ve not been in that situation, it’s important to know exactly where your interview will be based so that you don’t turn up to the wrong location. Have a look on Google Maps or StreetMap, using the post code provided by the interviewer, but don’t forget to double check with the interviewer exactly where the interview will take place.
Find Out The Interview Format
I always find that my mind and nerves are much more at ease when I know what’s coming. In that case, I would always try to find out the format of the interview. For that reason, I would want to know whether the interview would be done by a panel or if I’m likely to meet people individually over the course of X number of hours. Will there be an assessment centre? Would I need to do psychometric testing on the day? Can I expect any written tests? Et cetera, et cetera. If you know what the format is, then you can prepare in advance by having mock interviews, or taking relevant tests, or having a session with a personal coach, to get their expert opinion and advice.
Get Yourself Prepared
Don’t underestimate the importance of self-preparation. Again, from a personal point of view, I would want to make sure that I looked my best so I would make sure that I knew exactly what I was going to wear and iron my shirt, et cetera, the night before. I’d polish my shoes and lay everything out, ready to put on the next morning. Of course, knowing what to wear requires research in itself so ask the right questions of the right people to understand what the interview dress code is. Have a look on company websites and social media properties to understand the typical dress code of the organisation. Another important part of self-preparation is trying to be as positive as possible to allay any nerves. I would speak to positive people who I knew would be able to boost my confidence and increase my energy levels so that I could be in the right frame of mind and attend the interview in the belief that they need me more than I need them. I’d also speak to my personal mentors and my coach to understand and glean their perspective on what needs to be done. I would also look at myself in the mirror and practice positive expressions and get a feeling of how my face looked when I was smiling or happy, and to understand my body language at particular moments.
Mock interviews are useful exercise to glean feedback on body language and facial expressions, especially if they’re recorded, so that’s another tool worth considering in your preparation.
Talk To Family and Friends
I don’t know about you, but my mood and expressions at home would often change as my interview approached. I’d become more nervous and, sometimes, a little more moody than usual. Of course, bad moods and nerves can effect those around you, but if they don’t know why you’re moody or nervous, there’s nothing that they can do to help you. I would often prepare and talk to my loved ones to let them know that I had an interview coming up. I’d get a pep talk from my mom or my other half or my sister, and they would be a lot more understanding of my mood and support me in my preparation.
Here’s What To Do Next
Remember at the beginning of the article, I mentioned 8 questions that I would prepare as core questions. Now that you’ve done all this research, you’ll be in a position to do the same.
The questions I personally prepare for each and every interview are questions around the business, the role, the people and the team. I prepare two questions for each of those categories. For example, my business-related questions could relate to new products and services, or around the growth strategy for the business. My role-related questions could relate to the career path for the prospective employee and where the role fits within the team. My people-related questions could relate to the interviewers themselves, and I would ask them more about their roles within the business and their views on the business. My team-related questions could relate to how the team fits within the business and their ambitions for the future.
I’d prepare 2 questions for each category to give me 8 questions in total, but just remember these are just core questions, so I would usually ask more questions around the answers given to those core questions. And of course, I would ask questions that would help me close the interview effectively and find out next steps.
Please prepare some questions of your own and feel free to contact me to talk about the questions