At what point does your interview with a company begin? Is it the initial handshake, or the first question you answer? How about the minute the client requested to have a telephone call, or face to face conversation? The truth is, the interview process can start earlier than you may think, so it’s worth preparing, to always bring on your ‘A’ game.
In my last article, we covered the first 5 minutes of an interview and how to create a great first impression. I thought I should take you a step back – so, in this article, I will give you tips on interview preparation, to give yourself the best chance to succeed, even before you have said a word or walked into the manager’s office.
Whether you are working with a recruitment agency or not, take it upon yourself to cover the quick preparation actions. You will feel comfortable going into the interview and looking forward to discussing the technical aspects required, instead of worrying about minor details, such as the format of the interview or any other small details.
Tip #1: Who will you be meeting?
Find out the person that will be interviewing you. Not only will you be able to ask for them at reception (a minor detail that can throw people off), get insight into the interviewer’s role in the business by checking out their LinkedIn profile.
Tip #2: Research the Company
I estimate that 90% of interviewers will ask you what you know about the company at one time or in the interview, if not more! This is to check you have done research, and therefore show you are serious about the role
A few basic ways to research the company is to go on the company’s website or LinkedIn company page, and look at the work they are currently doing, and plans they have for the future. Alternatively, you could look on Glassdoor as you can see how present and past employees rate the company and have a look at some of the reviews they may have left for similar (or the same!) roles.
Tip #3: Package Details
Salary, Location, Job Title, the package offered, and potential travel within the role, are all examples of important details you should try and get as soon as possible – before the interview. You don’t really want to be asking these questions in an interview, taking away from the valuable time you could be getting across your personality, or showcasing your technical skill set.
Tip #4: Interview Format
If you are not prepared for what the interviewer is going to throw at you, will you perform to your best ability? A good example, would be turning up for what you think is an informal chat, but that turns out to be a technical written test…not ideal!
Tip #5: Awareness on the Interview Process
My final tip is to understand the interview process, so that you can manage your own expectations on how quick the client is going to make a decision on you. This is key if you have multiple interviews, and need to manage the timelines with other companies.
With an upcoming interview, take it upon yourself to cover the quick preparation tips I’ve shared in this post. You will feel comfortable going into the interview and looking forward to discussing the things that actually interest you, and decrease the chance of getting caught off-guard. Interviews should be an enjoyable two-way process between yourself and the client, that could mark the beginning of the next chapter of your career.