5 things you need to prepare before your interview

There are loads of clichés about a lack of preparation; failure to prepare is preparing to fail and of course the 5 P’s (whichever version you choose). But they exist for a reason. Not preparing for an interview will seriously impact your chance of success. Here are the most important things you need to do before and interview;

Plan your route and arrive on time
Being late will always count against you and you really don’t want to be starting an interview with an apology. Make sure you know where you are going (ideally doing a dummy run). Always allow some extra time for potential delays and check Google maps before you leave to make sure the route is clear if driving.. Think about where you will park if you are driving. Do you have to pay for parking? Do you need cash or does the machine take cards, do you need to download the app? Does the car park get busy, will you need to have a back-up?
Even if you make it on time but have had to rush you’ll start your interview flustered and distracted. If you do arrive early, don’t go straight in but wait in the car or around the corner. Anything more than 5/10 minutes early can also count against you.

Do your research on the company AND hiring managers
This has never been easier to do. Hiring managers will expect you to have looked at their website and, at a bare minimum, know what it is they do. They will expect you to have done more than this as well though. Have a look at any blogs posted by them or company press releases. Google both the company and the person, check their LinkedIn and social media. If you can talk about their recent projects, particularly relating to your experience, goals or the role it will look good to the interviewer. You will always make a better impression if you can find something in common or if you show an interest in them and what they’ve been doing.

Read the job description
If you haven’t been given one then get as much information as you can about the role from the recruiter or hiring manager. See if there is anything on their website about the role, or someone in a similar role as part of a “meet the team” section. You cannot demonstrate how your skills and experience match what they need if you don’t know what they actually need! The job description will also give you the chance to think about any lack of skills or experience and how you can overcome those objections before you’re asked the question.

Prepare your answers for common interview questions
Typical interview questions include “what are your weaknesses?”, “what do you think you can bring to this role?” and “why do you want this job?” Think about how you will answer these questions so you don’t have to stumble over them in the interview or just give stock answers. Questions such as these are so common and you will be expected to know your answer to them. Make sure you match your answers to what they’re actually looking for – it’s your chance to demonstrate that you can do what they need you to. One thing that’s important to avoid is saying what you’re responsible for. Being responsible for something doesn’t actually mean you do it! Give examples of what you’ve actually done.

Prepare your appearance
In all likelihood you will be expected to wear a suit for interview. Make sure your outfit is clean and ironed and that your shoes are polished. Is it time for a haircut? Personal hygiene is vital and don’t wear overpowering perfume or aftershave. Ladies, don’t overdo it with the make-up either. Always have a quick check before you go into the building to make sure you are looking your best. First impressions really do count!

Prepare you social media
Ideally you should have done this before you started looking for a job but ALWAYS check your social media (including tech platforms). What impression does it give of you? Something that is filled with comments and content relating to your field will demonstrate a passion for what you do. Lots of swearing, offensive content or details of your antics over the weekend will probably put people off. You don’t have to close all of your accounts, but consider making them private if you don’t want prospective employers to see it. Don’t forget your profile picture. It doesn’t need to be work related but make sure it’s nothing NSFW.

Interviews can be a nervous time but there is no excuse for not doing your homework. If you would like any more advice check out the blog on our website. Make sure you follow our twitter feed and LinkedIn page for lots of advice.

Victoria Harlock

Victoria is the Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as Recruitment Consultant for 5 years, she moved into Office Management over 11 years ago now. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn