Your job application was a success and you have secured a job interview. The next step is to start your job interview preparation.
In order to ensure peek interview performance, you need to extensively prepare. By preparing it means you can easily demonstrate to the interviewers you are the top candidate. The more you prepare, the more relaxed and in control you will feel.
Step One: Research the company
Memorise information on the company so you can knowledgeably and confidently discuss the company and how it operates. This demonstrates your interest and desire to work for that specific company. Places to find information could be:
- Company Website
- Company Social Media Sites
- Annual Reports
- Industry Publications
- Newspaper Reports
Be sure to understand their products and services, locations, competitors, financials, mission statement, values, history, leadership team structure and growth prospects.
Step Two: Research the interviewers’
When you accept the interview, it is important to ask for the names and positions of the interviewers’. With this information you can research their background to better understand their positioning and focus.
You may also uncover a 1st degree connection which can create instant rapport.
Good places to find information is through LinkedIn, the company website and published blogs and articles.
Step Three: Review your job application
Talking confidently about your career history and accomplishments is imperative in any interview. Memorise job titles, company names, achievements, responsibilities and dates so you can seamlessly provide an overview of your background without referring to your resume.
Be sure to prepare answers to any weak points in your resume, such as gaps in employment and career changes. This way you won’t be blindsided at the interview with a probing and uncomfortable question.
Review the job advert and position description (if available) so you can mentally link your skills, abilities and achievements to the requirements of the position.
Step Four: Review your major accomplishments & responsibilities
The purpose of the interview is to assess if you will be successful in the role fit in with the team.
You can demonstrate this through your past achievements and responsibilities. Highlighting tangible and quantifiable outcomes provides concrete evidence of your ability to perform.
Step Five: Prepare your stories using behavioural interviewing techniques
All great candidates have mastered the art of story-telling.
Prepare examples from your past that address the core competencies of the role (as outlined in the job advertisement or position description). By using the STAR technique you can be sure to adequately answer behavioural questions.
Step Six: Prepare answers to stock questions
Stock questions are standard questions in any interview. These include:
- “Tell Me About Yourself”
- “Why do you want this job? / Why do you want to work for this company?”
- “What are your strengths?”
- “What are your weaknesses?”
- “Take us through your work history”
Step Seven: Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
A key component to job interview preparation is to memorise a variety of potential questions to ask the interviewer. Chances are some will be answered through the course of the interview so by having backup questions you will be fully prepared.
Be sure to ask genuine questions you have about the company and role. Avoid any questions relating to salary or company perks. If you get stuck here are some good questions to ask:
- “What are the top three challenges of this role?”
- “What does success look like in this role?”
- “What results would you expect in the first six months?”
- “What do you like about working for this company?”
Step Eight: Review and practice interview questions
A practice job interview will reveal your weak points and any areas that require further job interivew preparation.
For a comprehensive and realistic practice interview experience, it can be beneficial to hire a career coach. Otherwise, ask someone you know to prepare interview questions and pretend to be the recruiting manager.
The most important aspect is this step is to receive constructive and honesy feedback on your performance.
Step Nine: Research market salary rates
It is common to be asked what your salary expectations are. Pitch too high and you may price yourself out of the role. Pitch too low and the interviewer may question the value of your skills and accomplishments.
Step Ten: Prepare the interview outfit and groom appropriately
You can never overdress for a job interview. As a rule of thumb, dress slightly more formally than what the job requires. Don’t forget to:
- Iron your outfit.
- Polish your shoes.
- Wash your hair.
- Shower and wear deodorant.
- Groom facial hair for men.
- Clean your finger nails.
- Eliminate breath odour.
- Minimise overbearing perfume or aftershave smells.
- Wear neutral makeup for women.
- Minimise junky or clunky (noisy) jewellery.
- Women should not display cleavage or show too much leg.
- Wear comfortable and easy to walk in shoes.
- Avoid loud clothes or clothes with logos.
Step Eleven: Pack bag
Pack your bag the night before the interview so you don’t end up stressed on the day trying to locate necessary documents.
Remember to bring your resume, copies and originals of your qualifications as well as your passport or birth certificate with driver’s license (this is needed to prove your eligibility to work in Australia).
Write down the address of the interview and the interviewers’ names and job titles so you can refresh your memory before the interview
Step Twelve: Plan your journey to the interview
It is best to plan your journey the day before. If you are driving, research the best route and where you will park. If you are catching transport, use an online planner to establish the best mode of transport.
Work out how long it will take to get there. Remember to factor in traffic conditions, and walking time from the carpark or station. Give yourself at least a 30 minute buffer for the unexpected and plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to the interview.
If you have time, try doing a dummy run the day before.
Step Thirteen: Get a good night’s rest knowing you have completed your job interview preparation!