There’s interview preparation. And then there’s REALLY preparing for the interview. It’s the latter that will get you the job.
Interview preparation includes some real givens says, Andrew Morris of Robert Half. For example, always plan to be on time. Too many candidates arrive late. That puts you on the back foot and doesn’t look good. Work out your trip to the interview so that you arrive 30 minutes early giving you time to sit down and review what you’re going to say.
You’ve also probably heard that to get the job you need to research the organisation, prepare your responses to typical interview questions, review your cover letter and resume, and plan what to wear.
Other ways to supercharge your preparation says Jessica Brennan of Parker Bridge recruitment include:
- Dive deep into the organisation’s online presence. Don’t just spend five minutes finding out a few facts. Take a long hard look at the organisation’s social media presence, its website, blogs, and every last piece of information you can find. Analyse the language used so that you can speak like you’ve already joined the organisation in the interview. “That way you will understand the culture and can find some common ground,” says Brennan. Perhaps the company sponsors a charity you’re committed to, or has a team doing a fun run that you compete in every year. This type of synergy is gold dust.
- Video yourself practicing for the interview. Don’t just practice your interview answers with friends and family. Give them the types of questions you expect, sit down with a video trained on you and try to do as lifelike an interview as you possibly can. “It’s not just what you say. Look at your body language and all your interview interactions,” says Brennan. Are you looking confident, is your eye contact good, did you scratch your head? “You can fix these before you go into the interview.” Whether you fidget, slouch, stare, mumble or some other body language mistake Google the words “how not to (and your problem)” for some tips on overcoming them.
- Add some colour. Take a long hard look at what you plan to wear and use colour to add vibrancy. You want to stand out and be remembered. If you’re a woman a scarf or necklace could do the trick. Likewise men can find tasteful shirts and ties that stand out just enough to be remembered. Avoid over-dressing or dressing inappropriately.
- Do everything in threes. Don’t practice one answer to the question “how do you handle conflict” or “give an example of a time when you handled a major crisis”. Have three answers, says Brennan. Interviewers often return to the same question more than once, she says. Having more answers up your sleeve will make you look slick.
If you’ve done your preparation you’ll go in on your best foot. Take time after the interview to review how you’ve done and plan your follow-up.
Take a long hard look at the organisation’s social media presence, its website, blogs, and every last piece of information you can find.