Career coach, Pádraig O’Connor, does a lot of work helping clients prepare for interviews. Here are some of his tips to aid you the next time you are asked to an interview.
Do your homework: It is certain you will be asked questions about your potential employer. At the least you will need to know the products and services they offer, together with some information about their size, sector, and turnover/profits. Many companies will have this information on their websites. In addition, Google the company and see what other information comes back.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail: It is crucial to anticipate questions you will be asked. It is likely you will be asked to give a summary of your career, achievements, and what attracts you to the role. Prepare answers by writing them out and work on them until they are balanced and succinct. Have mock interviews with a career professional, trusted family member, or friend. This will give you confidence and help you remain calm on the day.
The day of the interview: Never arrive late. Know where you need to go, decide how you will get there, and how long it will take. Make sure you allow for delays to your journey and aim to arrive early. Avoid last-minute panic by deciding what to wear the day before and be sure to dress for the occasion. Also, have all documentation like references ready the day before.
Lights, camera, action: First impressions matter, so when you meet your interviewers be sure to make eye contact and smile, shaking hands if offered. Be positive in your outlook and always be courteous and polite. Answer questions honestly. If you do not understand a question ask for clarification.
Avoid saying anything negative about previous employers or colleagues. Finally, have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview if you are invited to do so. Thank the interviewers when the interview is over.
If you follow these tips it will increase your chances significantly of securing the job you interview for.