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The Essentials When Preparing for an Interview

By Sonya Buck, Australia


There is so much advice about preparing for job interviews, but there are some essentials to consider when preparing for the important day.

Clothes and shoes
Be ready even before you are invited for interview. Besides being one less thing to worry about, you might be called for an interview at short notice. You know the type of industry you applying for, so the style of clothing should be easy to decide on.

If your finances are limited, buy clothes or suits off eBay or in opportunity shops. Classic pieces can be obtained at little cost. Don’t purchase or wear clothes in material that may crush easily. Ensure clothes are laundered and are shoes are clean, so you are ready to go.

Dig deep when researching
Do more than just a 5-minute skim of a potential employer’s web site, dig deeper into news archives, all their different social media channels and make sure you review their 5-year business plan and anything else useful you can find on their web site. You may be able to either ask a related question or subtly drop in some of your company knowledge, if appropriate.

Scope the journey
If you are travelling to an interview in a new or difficult location to reach, go there beforehand. Not able to visit prior, then leave very early. It’s better to be sitting across the road at a coffee shop chilling out, then running in stressed, just in time for the interview. You can also use this opportunity to prepare and rehearse answers, to yourself of course.

What you bring to the table
Ensure you are very aware of what are you able to contribute to the new organisation.

Review the advertisement or position description and match the skills required to what you have to offer. If lacking some skills, be prepared to communicate to your employer that you are a quick learner and more than willing to carry out the training asap.

Their questions
Addressing questions is now easier than ever before. You are even able to Google the type of questions you might be asked for different positions and the type of answers your potential employer is looking for.

Ensure you use your experiences for any potential answers. Yes, practice, video or do whatever it takes until you feel comfortable and relaxed answering.

Your questions
Ensure you have questions prepared. Prepare several just in case the answers are covered already and have some questions to ask at the end of the interview.

Don’t just ask questions relating to salary or about your role. Ask about the company, its goals and maybe you can slip in a question relating to the research you have done.

These tips are very simple, but will definitely assist you in being successful at interview.

Remember on the day, make sure you do all the usual interview things, try and relax, make eye contact, don’t fidget, don’t interrupt or correct the interviewer, don’t lie about your experience or qualifications and don’t forget to turn off your phone etc.

I’m not going to wish you luck for your interview, because as Roman Statesman, Lucius Annaeus Seneca said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”. Be prepared and you’ll be successful in obtaining that new role.