5 things you should always do before your job interview

 18 Sep 2017

Guest post by Laura Slingo, Digital Copywriter at CV-Library:
 
Congratulations! You made it past the gatekeeper and you landed yourself an interview.
 
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure that you are prepared to the best of your ability beforehand, and that it’s only nerves you are experiencing before you enter the interview room, not worries about a lack of preparedness.
You want to come across as professional, competent and seriously keen to get this job. So ensure that you are ready for whatever they may throw at you.
Here are our suggestions for five things you should always do before your job interview.
 
1. Do your homework
If you don’t know about the company, the moments before your interview is not the time to find out who they are or what they do.
You will come across as ignorant, stupid and lazy.
If you’re interviewing for a position in this company, you should want to know that they’re the right fit for you, that they are going to advance your career as you would like it to progress and that your values and theirs align.
Therefore, it’s equally about whether you’re a fit for the company and if the company is the right fit for you.
In the days leading up to your interview, take some time to browse the company’s website and any supporting literature, from whitepapers to recent media attraction. At the very least, make sure you are familiar with the organisation’s goals, mission and values, its top competitors and how it operates.
By preparing in this way, not only will you know whether the company is for you, but you’ll have some great talking points regarding what you can bring to the team and aid success.
 
2. Have your list of questions ready
The worst thing you can do, at the end of the interview, when they ask if you have any questions for them, is to reply ‘no’.
Even if you know everything you think you want to know, ask a question. If you sit in silence or shake your head, you will come across as disinterested in the company and reluctant to learn more about your potential future career.
If you can, ask multiple questions to the interviewer, demonstrating that you have done your research and that you are interested in finding out more. This is your chance to talk and to grill them about what life is like in the organisation, you won’t get this opportunity again, so use it wisely and ask pertinent questions.
Some great questions to ask include:
  • What are some key KPIs of the role?
  • Why are you hiring for this role?
  • How will you judge my success in the role?
  • What can I expect from you in terms of development and support?
  • What’s your favourite thing about working for this company?
3. Print off a couple of copies of your CV
The interviewers will more than likely have a copy of your CV with them, so they can check facts and ask you to talk them through certain parts of it during the interview. If they’ve forgotten to bring it, you will look organised.
You also don’t want to contradict yourself, or forget those all-important numbers that demonstrated why you should get this interview, so make it easy on yourself. You might even want to highlight key talking point in your own copy so that facts and figures are easily identifiable.
Have a copy next to you, just in case you have a momentary memory lapse. Don’t worry, they happen to the best of us.
 
4. Arrive early
Nothing guarantees you not getting the job, quite like being late for your interview.
Get there at least 15 minutes early. You don’t have to go inside just yet, instead stand around the corner. Gather your thoughts, look through your notes one last time, check you haven’t inadvertently dribbled some tea down your front and that you don’t have lipstick on your teeth.
Use this time to compose yourself. Clear your head of any negativity and think positively about your potential future employment.
 
5. Be friendly with everyone in the building that you meet
First impressions are everything – and they only take 7 seconds.
On your way in, smile at the guards, chat politely with the receptionist, you never know if they are a part of your selection process or not. The last thing you want to do is come across as rude and dismissive to anyone you might potentially end up working with, because, let’s face it, who would want to work with a rude, dismissive person?
What’s more, smiling can actually help you feel more positive. Therefore, if you’ve got a case of the pre-interview jitters, smiling can help alleviate some of your nerves.
Finally, take some deep breaths. They will help focus your mind and calm you down, allowing you to go into that interview room and be the best version of you that you can be.
 
About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.
 
See more important advice here from C&D...
 
 
 

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