Congratulations, you got the phone call or email you were waiting for! Your CV and follow up efforts are clearly working, so now on to the next phase – the interview.
In this article, we will look at how to prepare for this next stage in your job search. The article refers to ‘the interviewer’ throughout, but bear in mind that you may be interviewed by a panel.
Before the Interview
Everyone knows that the main purpose of a job interview is for the employer to decide if you are a person that they want to employ. But don’t forget that you have a similar decision to make as well. Are these the company and people you want to work with?
For this reason, you need to be prepared to ask questions as well as to answer them.
It’s a good idea to visit the company’s website to prepare for your interview. This allows you to learn a little about the organisation, what they do and how they operate. This will help to give you a head start at the interview, and show that you have a genuine interest in working at the organisation.
At the Interview: What to expect
Most interviews tend to follow a similar pattern:
- Arrival and introductions
- The interviewer talks about the Organisation
- The interviewer talks about the role
- You talk through your CV, highlighting your experience and skills
- Questions – from both you and the interviewer
- The interviewer closes the interview
You can prepare some of this in your head and practice your approach and responses beforehand, so take time to get these right. Think of what key questions may be asked, and practice answering them with someone else acting as the interviewer.
Sometimes interview questions can appear confusing or may catch you off guard. The interviewer will be looking for key phrases in your response, which you identified as part of writing your CV. So don’t be afraid to use buzz words and industry jargon in your responses. Remember to keep your answers concise, and stick to the facts without waffling.
You should prepared to ask questions during the interview. This will show the interviewer(s) that you want to know more about the role and organisation. When asking questions, subjects to focus on include:
- the role you are interviewing
- the people you will be working with and for
- the organisation culture
- career development, or opportunities to learn new skills.
Take time before the interview to prepare a list of possible questions to ask. You don’t want the interviewer to ask if you have any questions and find that you have forgotten them all! So be sure to practice this section with a friend before the interview.
And with help from our guides, you can be confident you will be ready and relaxed throughout the interview process.
Next Stage: First Impressions