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The best way to prepare for a job interview

When it comes to securing a new role, you’ll want to ensure you make the right impression. But do you know how to prepare for a job interview? It’s the key to success; and thorough research and planning is the only way to impress your interviewer.

Before the big day, you’ll need to consider several points; from the questions they’re likely to ask and how you’re going to get there, to who you’re meeting with and what to take with you.

By preparing everything you need ahead of time, you’re setting yourself up for success in the interview. You know what they say, if you fail to plan – you plan to fail.

Do your research

Research is essential before any job interview. Whether it’s memorising the company’s mission statement, or working out the quickest route to get there; it’s vital that you brush up on your knowledge. After all, you don’t want, the employer to catch you out.

When you prepare for a job interview, it’s important to start as soon as possible. Begin with an internet search of the company and read through its website, social media platforms and any other literature it may have online.

This should help you to build a better picture of the company’s values, goals, and even its clients; which is useful if you’re interviewing for a job in sales.

However, don’t limit your research to just learning about the company. Explore the sector it operates in, investigate its biggest competitors and note any industry trends or news that may be happening at the time.

By preparing for a job interview this way, you’ll prove to the interviewer that you’re passionate about the industry; plus, it will lead to more meaningful conversations during your meeting.

Finally, be sure to review the job description for the role you’re interviewing for. By going through this in detail, you’ll ensure that you’re fully aware of what the role requires. Ultimately, this will help you to pinpoint which skills and real-world examples to highlight; making sure you impress your interviewer.

Plan your journey

Another point to consider when you prepare for a job interview is your journey. To avoid any stress, make sure you know where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.

If you don’t know the area well, it could be worth doing a trial run a few days before. This enables you to gauge how long the journey will take and gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with where you’re meeting.

On the actual day, make sure you leave with plenty of extra time to allow for possible delays; especially if you’re relying on public transport. The last thing you want to do is turn up late to the interview and feel stressed or panicked before you go in.

Pick a professional outfit

A key part of preparing for a job interview is picking the perfect outfit. The way you dress says as much about you as your CV or your performance in the interview itself.

Planning your outfit ahead of time will save you from stressing the morning of your interview. Plus, it gives you time to buy new clothes if necessary.

Dressing professionally is important; it shows the interviewer that you’re taking the opportunity seriously. Plus, sticking to a professional dress code also reduces the risk of your outfit distracting them (or you!)

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure it’s clean and not ill-fitting; you don’t want to be walking around in something that’s too tight or loose. Also, it’s worth considering your colour scheme when you prepare for a job interview. Keep it subtle.

Neutral or pastel colours will ensure you look smart and professional.

For women opting to wear a dress or skirt, it’s important to consider the length and ensure it’s appropriate. This also applies to vests or blouses; you don’t want your outfit to be too revealing.

Similarly, when applying make-up and choosing jewellery, try to keep it subtle. Heavy make-up doesn’t look professional and clunky jewellery could be distracting to both you and the interviewer. For men, it’s important that you look well groomed. Make sure that both your hair and facial hair are kept clean and trimmed. And, if you choose to wear a suit, try to avoid bold or novelty ties.

Practise your responses Although you can’t predict what questions the employer will ask when you prepare for a job interview, you can research and rehearse answers to the most common offenders.

Remember, the questions the interviewer may ask you will differ by industry. For example, questions for a cleaning job may differ to those for an Admin Manager role.

Practise responses that highlight your strengths and prepare the best examples for demonstrating your skills. It may help to do a mock interview with a friend, or even record yourself and listen to it back; that way you can also work on your presentation skills.

Prepare some questions

In your meeting (generally towards the end) the employer will probably ask if you have any questions of your own. So, it’s important to consider this when you prepare for a job interview!

After all, not having any is likely to reflect negatively on you; show you’re enthusiastic and curious by preparing questions beforehand.

The interview is a chance for you to find out more about the company, the job role and the people you’ll be working with. They want to know if you’re right for the company; but the interview is also your chance to see if the company is right for you!

If you have any doubts or questions, then keep a note so you can ask your interviewer on the day.

Decide what to take

Don’t forget to check if there’s anything you need to take to your interview. Depending on the job, you may need to bring a portfolio of work.

If this is the case, be sure to have this ready the night before. For most interviews, the employer won’t specifically ask you to bring anything; but as a rule, it’s a good idea to have an extra copy of your CV to hand.

You may also want to take a notepad and a pen with you. That way you can jot down any questions or notes that crop up throughout the meeting.

Finally, having a copy of the job role to refer to during the interview is always beneficial.

Mentally prepare for a job interview

Preparing for your job interview with research and a smart outfit should help to build your confidence and get you in the right frame of mind.

To tackle any last-minute nerves, allow time on the day to mentally prepare; run through your interview answers and recap on the research you’ve done on the company.

Think positively and remind yourself of your strengths and why you’d be right for the job.Arriving ahead of time also reduces the chance of feeling rushed or panicked before you greet your interviewer.

Good luck with your job interview

It may seem like a lot to remember, but careful interview preparation is key to securing yourself a job. Don’t scrimp on the research and don’t leave planning your travel and outfits to the last minute.

Preparing for a job interview in advance can help you feel confident and in control; resulting in a brilliant interview and hopefully a new job!