Preparing for any type of interview is daunting. It is important to have the knowledge and preparation time to do the best you can at the interview. It could make the difference between you getting the job or someone else.
To help make the process a little easier for you here is an article that will help with job interview preparation so you can be ready.
Firstly, let’s be clear about what an interview is and its purpose.
a formal meeting in which one or more people question, consult, or evaluate another person for a job
So, how can you prepare for a job interview?
It is difficult to prepare without knowing the questions you will be asked but what is important to remember is that the interviewee wants to find out as much as possible about you and your previous experience including your suitability for the job. It is a conversation that might include a presentation. Here are some job interview preparation questions to get you started.
They may be asked using these words or slightly different:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- What do you know about our organisation?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What 3 things are you good at?
- What 3 things would you like to improve including why?
- What skills can you bring to this job?
- Do you prefer working by yourself or in a team?
- Tell me about a challenging situation and how you dealt with it?
- Tell me about a situation where things did not go the way you expected and how you handled it?
- What motivates you?
- How do you deal with pressure?
- What do you think makes a good manager?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- Why should we give you this role?
- Why is there a gap in your work history?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What kind of Questions Can you Ask?
You do not have to ask a question but it is good to ask at least one. Here are some suggestions but do also consider how much time is left for the interview as you do not want the interview to run overtime because you asked too many questions at the end:
Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/company?
- What is a typical day like in the job?
- What are the values and culture of the organisation?
- Can you tell me anything about the team where this job will be?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
The art of conversation is through storytelling and being able to engage who is listening to you by saying things in an interesting way. This can be through your body language as well as your voice control.
When you walk into the room do shake the hands of the interviewer/s or if not possible then make sure you say “Thank you for seeing me today”
Do sit up straight in your chair and if needed move the chair so you are not too close to the table and not too far away.
Do use your hands to express yourself.
Do smile as you answer the questions and make eye contact
Do not cross your hands in front of your body
Do not have anything in your hands like a pen as you may find yourself fidgeting with it which can be annoying and will distract from what you are saying.
Do take notes in with you but do not hold them in your hands or read from them verbatim.
Voice Control & Responses
Do listen to the question being asked and respond clearly and with confidence. Always pause after a question is asked to give yourself time to ensure you have understood the question and time to get your thoughts ready to respond.
Do not mumble and whisper your answers as you will be marked down if you cannot be understood.
Don’t speak too quickly or slowly
If you are unsure about the question being asked then do not just make up an answer. Ask them to repeat the question or you can say “can I just confirm this is what you are asking me?”
Avoid short answers like Yes and No. Answer the question being asked as well as why you have given that answer or what it means to you
When responding Do pause, Do use a range of words and Do use emotion
Being nervous is natural so it is important that you find a way to balance your nerves without looking like you are too relaxed.
A very important reminder through all of this is Do Breathe
Job Interview Dress Code
Men – Do dress to impress but make sure that you are comfortable. Trousers (not too tight), shirts (not too tight around the neck), tie if appropriate, jumper and smart shoes.
Ladies – Do dress to impress but make sure that you are comfortable. Trousers (not too tight) or a skirt (skirt not too short), comfortable top or short, a jumper with smart shoes but not too high heels. Jewellery and makeup to a minimum.
Jeans, Trainers, Hoodies should be avoided unless appropriate for the job role.
Final Thoughts on Job Interview Preparation
Make sure that you spend time preparing, making notes and practice.
Go through the suggested questions above and create responses that you are comfortable with using language that suits you. Simple, clear and concise is a good way to think about this.
Get one of your family or friends to ask you the questions in different ways and practice your answers.
Video yourself when you do practice so that you can see what your body language is like, if your voice can be heard and is clear.
Do practice going through the questions but remember at the interview your responses must be conversational and not a presentation unless of course you are asked to do a presentation.
Make sure you thank them at the end of the interview
Further Support to Prepare for Job Interviews
To support you in developing your communicating with confidence skills to help you with meetings, presentations and interviews I have an online course that you can do at home, at a pace that works for them with no pressure or competition. You can repeat sections as often as you need and the online course is CPD Accredited.
Here is the link: