- Research the company/organisation you want to work for
To prepare for an interview you should always find out as much as you can about the company. Have they been in the news recently, what major changes have happened in the organisation? Also it would be good to find out who’s interviewing you. Most confirmation emails or letters will inform you who the interviewing panel are. Take a look at the company website to find out what role your interviewers play in the organisation. Take a look at them on LinkedIn (although remember, with LinkedIn, they can see you’ve looked them up, so make sure your profile is a good one because they might look right back at yours).
- Read over your application
There’s nothing like a candidate who doesn’t have a clue about what they wrote on their application. Know what work experiences you have on your CV, as well as examples of extra-curricular activities that demonstrate things like team-work and communication skills. If it was an on-line application hopefully you’ve saved a copy before you sent it off, so look back over this.
- Prepare some questions
Remember, this isn’t ALL about you selling yourself. Figure out some things you would like to know about the company or the role you have applied for. What recent events/news/policy change might impact the organisation and/or the job? This is your chance to ask them whatever you would like to know, so use it. Just make sure your questions are not a) about pay or perks of the job and b) can’t easily be answered by looking at their website.
- Utilise the Career’s & Enterprise Centre
At Queen Mary Career’s & Enterprise Centre you can book a practice interview and learn useful techniques for when answering a question. You can also talk about any particular issue that’s troubling you (like how to deal with competency questions or how to show your motivation). Our website also is also packed full of nifty tricks (like our interview simulator) and upcoming events that may boost your knowledge of a particular sector.
To be at your best on the day you need to make sure you’ve slept well and feel good. That way you can be energised and positive during the interview. Following steps 1-4 will make sure you are well prepared and composed. In the words of Elbert Hubbard, ‘The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today’. Follow these steps and you will maintain a serenity that will have other stressed out candidates wondering what your secret is: Preparation!