Benjamin Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
It is always the simple things that make the difference between securing or losing your ideal job.
Whether you are a CEO or taking your first steps along your chosen career path, preparing for the interview is a must. I have put together a few tips and useful information from various sources to help you do the best you can.
Here is my 10 point preparation plan.
Research the company thoroughly, look at the interviewers profile in LinkedIn and visit the company website for latest news and financials. Speak to people who know about the company you are interviewing at, whether it be your head-hunter or an ex-colleague. Find out about the environment, company culture, what is expected of you and candidate requirements.
Do you know:
- What are its products and services?
- What were the financial results like?
- What is its growth strategy?
- Who are their main competitors?
- What is their reputation in the market?
Make sure you can:
- Talk through your background
- Discuss trends and developments in your market
- Describe why you want to join the company
- Be clear on why you want the position
- Answer any technical and competency questions that might arise
2. Think about your first impression
It takes just a moment for someone to evaluate you when you first meet. In a matter of seconds the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, body language, demeanour, mannerisms, and how you are dressed.
First impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse and set the tone for the relationship that follows. Make sure you get it right.
3. Be on time
Plan to arrive a few minutes early allowing flexibility for those all too frequent travel delays or the new smart phone sending you in the wrong direction. Arriving early is better than arriving late. This is the first little step in creating a great first impression.
4. Be yourself
A positive attitude is essential! If you are calm and confident the interviewer will feel relaxed and you are much more likely to make a great impression. Don’t go overboard on coffee, redbull or anything else that will make you anxious.
Dress appropriately for the company for which you are interviewing and not the company you currently work for. Remember, you can always dress down but never up. A clean and tidy appearance is appropriate for job interviews, it will help make you feel and look good.
6. A winning smile!
“Smile and the world smiles with you.”* You can rarely go wrong with a nice smile. Don’t go over board though, it might have the opposite effect.
Body language speaks much louder than words. Greet the person confidently with a nice smile and firm handshake.
Be aware of any nervous habits you might have and think about how to control them. Controlling your body language will put both you and the interviewer at ease.
8. Building rapport
Armed with your research, make sure you have prepared lots of questions. Find out the interviews background, do they like sport or support a charity?
Building rapport with someone keeps the conversation going and will help you stand out from the other candidates.
9. Be positive
A positive attitude will help you cope with the interview envirnoment and avoid negative thinking. With a positive attitude you will become optimistic and be in a great state of mind.
One important key to success is self confidence. An important key to self confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
10. Be courteous and attentive
Good manners and courteous behavior help make a good first impression. Anything less can ruin the one chance you have of landing the job.
“Turn off your mobile phone”!
There we go, best of luck for the interview!