Applying for a job is exciting, but also a lot of hard work. First, you have to do up your resume and cover letter, and then you have to prepare for a job interview. If you’re struggling with the first part, we have you covered. You can read all about resumes and cover letters here. Now, who here gets nervous when meeting new people for the first time? Alright, glad we both have that in common. Allow us to help you prepare for your interviews…
How do you prepare for a job interview right now, or in the past? Do you just wing it and hope for the best or do you buckle down and study up? (We are guilty of both) If you just wing it, chances are you either don’t really care about the role or you just don’t know how to prep. We’ve been through a lot of interviews and we’ve provided some insight for you on how to be super prepared!
Prepare For A Job Interview
Step One – Preparation
Just like studying for an exam, you need to prepare for a job interview. Think of this step as preparation for a speech, the more prepared you are, the more confident you will be in delivering your speech – same goes for an interview.
You’ll want to know the exact location of your interview and how best to get there direction wise (your smartphone will be your best friend here). You don’t want to stress about this on the day of your interview. Know which route you’ll take, if you can park, or if you’ll have to take public transport.
Who will be interviewing you? If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to call and ask. It will show initiative and that you care. You’ll want to know specific facts about the company, or any relatively new news in the industry. A good rule of thumb is to at least know the basic history of the company and over-all mission. Make sure you’re aware of their core values and bring this up in your actual interview as to how they align with your own. The employer wants to know you share the same vision.
*Little tip: if you know who is interviewing, look them up on LinkedIn! Your name will pop up as ‘viewing their profile’ – it’s like planting the seed. Just make sure your profile is up to date!
Also, be sure you know what is on your resume… you’ll be expected to talk about past roles, so know the facts and figures about your previous or current employer (and don’t lie!)
You should know from your basic research if your role environment is business casual or business professional, because you will want to dress accordingly. Be sure your clothes are wrinkle free, lint free, dog/cat hair free, and tidy. Present your best self. To prepare for a job interview, dress like you already have the job!
You Are The Expert Of Your Resume
You’ll want to be sure you’re an expert of your individual resume. You may think you are because you created it, but you truly need to know what you’ve written down and the information you’ve provided. Review your resume and be sure you are capable of answering questions that are geared toward the information you have provided on your resume.
If you’d like a list of commonly asked questions or questions you should ask your interviewer just click the button below.
Step Two – The Interview
It’s no lie, your interview will feel like an interrogation at times and all spot-lights on you (especially if you’re in for a panel interview). Your strengths and areas of improvements will be determined as well as your overall confidence and ability to carry yourself.
Arrive on time to your interview, we like to arrive 10-15 minutes early just to be on the safe side and it shows the interviewer you care. If you are greeted by a receptionist, be polite and friendly. This is the first assessment, because the receptionist without doubt will tell the interviewer of your behaviours and interactions.
Position yourself with confidence, shoulders back and attentive to the interviewer and be a good listener. Smile and try to make as much eye-contact as possible (without being a weirdo) just make sure you’re present. Describe your overall accomplishments and how they are applicable to the current role you are applying for. When you are discussing the role, answer questions as if you are in the position already and ask how your position or skills may benefit the overall company.
Be sure to be honest in all accords. If you do not know an answer, you can politely say that you are unsure, but would love to be able to get back to them with an answer at a later time. This shows you have listened and did not dismiss the question, but also answered truthfully.
Most importantly though, just be you! The interviewer is also assessing how well you’ll fit into their culture. Let your personality shine through. Make sure you ask about the culture at the workplace. This also allows you to assess whether or not YOU would be happy to work there.
If you need help with answering questions in an interview be sure to grab our handy interview prep questions guide! Just click the button below.
The basics… no gum, no phone, and what-ever you do, don’t make derogatory comments about previous roles or positions!
Time To Ask Questions
After the interviewer has collected all the information they need from you, it’s time for YOU to ask questions…and you should ALWAYS ask questions! This stage of the interview is just as important and it can sometimes be a make or break for either a second interview, or the actual job itself.
Now, you would have already done the work when you prepare for a job interview. Your questions should be unique and believe us, there are ways to stand out with the questions you ask! It’s time to switch sides and start interviewing the interviewer. Again, confidence is key when asking questions, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to see if this is truly a place you want to work.
By asking questions, you are now in control of the conversation. This allows you to also weed in any further information you feel is relevant to the position that you haven’t had a chance to bring up. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn (but be humble about it) and always bring it back to how your experiences will contribute to the role and company as a whole.
Step Three – Seal The Deal
Close the interview with confidence. If after the interview you are interested in the position, enquire about the next step or action that needs to be taken in the interview process. Do not be afraid to ask this, as it shows the interviewer you are genuinely interested and feel the interview went well. You may be in a position that you are offered the role on the spot, if you are confident say yes. However, if you don’t feel comfortable accepting on spot, be sure to politely ask for time to process the decision but give an absolute date of when you will confirm.
*Very important! If you start to feel the interview is deteriorating don’t show distress! Some interviewers may purposefully discourage you to test your reaction and resilience, especially depending upon the role you are interviewing for. Always be confident in your abilities!
Thank the interviewer for their time with a firm hand shake and that you look forward to hearing from them.
Make sure to send the interviewer a follow up email thanking them for their time and that you feel the interview went well. And don’t delay! Try to send them an email the same day of your interview, otherwise ensure it’s the morning after. After you walk out from an interview, you may not feel the role is for you – and that’s ok! Employers are aware of this, and they want to know you’re interested after all is said and done. If you’re dealing with the HR department and don’t have the interviewers direct email, email HR and ask them to pass on your thanks.
You’re all prepared! If you have questions about any of the above, either leave us a comment below or shoot us an email, and we’d be more than happy to help you out. We’ve done our fair share of interviews and have always received great feedback, so we’ve got a clue.
Don’t forget we are now offering packages on resume and cover letter writing! If you need a hand, make sure you check those out at our Tribe Shop here.
Do you have any more tips for us on how to prepare for an interview? Leave a comment!
Amanda & Julia xx