It’s official: it’s a candidates’ market right now. With so many roles out there, it stands to reason that you might be called for a job interview. But once you’re there, what should you do?
We’ve spoken with people in a variety of different roles and asked them what real life tips they’d give other people in their situation. From compiling their answers, we saw a lot of different ways people go about in preparing for interviews, and a few common areas.
Researching the company: going a step further
Having the foresight to research the business/establishment you’re going to interview for is something you’ll hear about and read about everywhere. It’s almost standard practice to make sure you’re not caught out, and that you know the company well.
Some of our interviewee’s mention going a step further, as well:
“I did a lot of research about the company itself through the website but that's pretty standard procedure. I had also searched through their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get a better idea of who they were personally and professionally to see if I could find out more about them and see if we had any common interests.”
This interviewee achieved her job role, as she found a common ground in a shared appreciation of feminist literature with her future manager. This shared ‘like’ opened-up an easy rapport, and of course, her excellent CV showcased her skills, much like yours will.
One of our interviewees describes getting herself hyped up with a specialised playlist before the event:
“I usually listen to a good playlist – oddly. The Prodigy is a go-to for me to psych me up!”
Something upbeat or up-tempo, or simply just loud enough to wake you up a bit, can help put you in a better state-of-mind. Perhaps it can be something you play in your car on the way to interview, or in your headphones on public transport, or in your home before you start your video call?
Set dressing and wardrobe
It’s important to take advantage of the things you can control in an interview. You are able to control how you will at first be perceived, and this is true of both online and in-person interviews.
“I usually wear an outfit that is interview appropriate but also makes me feel comfortable and most like myself.”
This excellent tip covers the fact that naturally, your interview outfit should be appropriate, but also that when you wear something comfortable and in your favourite style, you’ll feel confident, leading to a better interview performance.
The concept of “set dressing” while in a virtual interview scenario comes from another interviewee, who says:
“If the interview is virtual, I usually test the technology beforehand (Teams, Zoom, Skype) and make sure I have a nice clear desk space around me and a simple, professional background.”
Making sure your technology works is a must and making sure your background isn’t going to embarrass you or show you in a negative light is important, too. Taking the time to make some set dressing can help with your first impression.
Interview them right back
We all know that job interviews should also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the role, too, and one of our interviewees agrees with this, adding:
“No matter what, always have at least four prepared questions to ask the interviewers at the end. This is different to preparing specific answers. You’ll be given the opportunity and it may be easier to pass on this, but it always looks better if you ask a question. Four is a reasonable amount to remember, and you need a few just in case one of them is already answered during the interview.”
This is an excellent idea not only will this give you more insight into the job role, but it shows you’re engaged and enthusiastic about the role.
But which questions should you ask? Here is a selection you can choose from:
- Are there opportunities for progression within the role?
- Can you describe the working culture of the company?
- Can you tell me more about the team I would be working in?
- Where do you see the company in five years?
- What is the company’s ethos?
In conclusion, there are many ways you can prep yourself so you’re ready for interview. We hope this list has been of some help to you. If you need any more help with looking for work, we’re available to support you in a wide number of ways. Contact us to learn more!