Five Essential Interview Preparation Tips

Preparation is absolutely pivotal before any important interview. Whilst interviews can take unexpected turns, there are some key things you can do to prepare beforehand to make sure you arrive in the strongest possible position.

1. Know how you match the company’s requirements

From the brief that you have been given by either a recruiter, the person specification in the job advertisement, or simply by anticipating what they might want, you need to have clear, articulate messages about what you have to offer that match with what they want. 

2. Research the firm and who you will be meeting

You can find an exhaustive amount of information about the firm you are going to interview with on the internet or by asking carefully-selected people in your professional network. 

There are some basics you need to know: 

  • Products and services 
  • Locations 
  • Size
  • Management team 
  • Basic financials 
  • Ownership
  • Anything in the news 

Furthermore, if you know the name of the person that you will be meeting, see if you can find any relevant background information about them - through your network, Google, and importantly - LinkedIn. 

3. Have questions for them

We think that having questions prepared for them is important. This gives you a chance to display the research that you’ve done into the company, and that you have an inquiring mind. You can also ask questions that will let you know how closely this job and firm fit with your criteria. 

4. Anticipate and inoculate “issues”

If you think that there are ways in which you do not match their brief, or you are concerned about aspects of your career history (such as frequent moves, etc.), anticipate these and have answers ready for difficult questions from the interviewer. 

One way of dealing with these issues is to mention them upfront at the beginning of the interview, so they are brought out and dealt with there and then. 

5. Admin

Turnout - Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the culture of the organisation and that you present yourself in a good way. 

Turn up - Know where you are going, leave plenty of time for your journey, and arrive on time in a relaxed and composed state of mind, with your answers, key messages and questions at front of mind. 

Social media - In the same way that you may be doing some online research of the people you are going to meet, they may well do some research into you. Be sensible about your social media presence, especially pictures and comments on Facebook and other social media.