You’ve read them all before, the tips, the tricks, and the hacks for interviews. Yet, every time you go in for one, you can’t help but feel inadequate. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of essential job interview preparation tips – the absolute best and most basic ones. Feel free to use them before any interview, and good luck!
#1 Be there and be there on time
The first on our list of job interview preparation tips is as commonsensical as it is essential – yet, according to recruiters’ statements, it’s uncanny how many people manage to botch it. whenever you get scheduled for a job interview, make sure you’ve got the precise details of where you need to arrive and what time you are expected. Sure, it’s happened to everybody to be slightly late or mix up addresses. However, unlike common social courtesy rules, on employment interviews you often don’t get a second chance. Being on time and at the right place, as well as working out how much time it’s going to take you to get there, are essential elements to forming a positive first impression.
#2 Do you know what you’ve applied for?
Of course, as an employment candidate, there is no way to know for sure what the exact job specifications are. However, at the very least, you need to read through the checklist of candidate requirements before you go in for the interview. Also, if you’ve applied through a recruitment agency, they should brief you about the position before the interview itself. Our list of job interview preparation tips also includes a Google search of the position, so that you gain as good an understanding of it as is possible prior to going in to talk with company representatives.
#3 Do you know whom you’ve applied with?
… which brings us to the next item on our checklist of job interview preparation tips: know thy potential employer. Here are a few basic questions it pays to research before the event:
- Who’s the company’s CEO or main manager?
- What are their main products and/or services offered?
- How is the company doing financially, according to the latest data you can find?
- What are its main competitors on its respective market niche?
Knowing all this information beforehand will help you get a clearer picture regarding the company and what it’s all about. It’s also going to help you hold your own and sail through one of the likeliest first questions, “What do you know about our company?”
#4 Do you know who’s going to be interviewing you?
Very often, you don’t. However, if you do, try and run a bit of a background check on this person, especially if they’re not just someone in HR, but rather someone working in the same department you are interested in working in. The person’s LinkedIn profile (or profiles on similar professional networks) is going to help you relate with your interviewer better. It’s also advisable to check and see if the two of you have any contacts in common, especially in preparing for questions coming from yourself, at the end of the interview. By and large, if you’re interviewing with someone from HR, chances are the questions aren’t going to be very technical, whereas someone from your department might want you to have your facts right.
#5 Being properly dressed is still on the list of job interview preparation tips
Yes, we know that the times, they are a-changing. Workplace rules concerning attire have relaxed a great deal over the past few decades (unless you are looking for a job in a field that requires wearing a uniform or are seeking a front-end job). Yet, for all the ‘casual smart’ dress codes you see implemented in major companies, when you go in for an interview, you still ought to be focusing on ‘smart’, rather than casual. In other words, a blazer and shirt are recommended, while jeans and t-shirts that haven’t been ironed in ages are not.
#6 Prepare your own questions
This is the one part of the interview most applicants dread – and, sometimes, rightfully so. If you’ve done your research, as our list of job interview preparation tips suggests, though, you will sail right through this part. Avoid asking about holidays, snacks, and other trivial aspects, and dive into company philosophy, work flows, and other issues pertaining to the identity of the organization.