Last week my beautiful cousin Ella sent me a Facebook message. The conversation went something like this:
Ella: So guess what
Lis: Tell me.
Ella: Well, I have a job interview tomorrow in Melbs!!!! And I’m bloody nervous …
Lis: Are you well prepped?
Ella: Trying to be!!
You see Ella graduated from Uni last year and she is has been on the hunt for the perfect job since. And by all accounts, this was her perfect job. She REALLY wanted it.
So after going back and forth on messenger a bit … we eventually hopped on the phone to chat through how she could best prep for the interview … and it inspired me to write down the points as some great prep anyone could go through to get ready for a job interview.
1 // Research the company.
Make sure you have properly researched the company. This should absolutely go without saying, but I would say at least half of the people I interview have not properly researched our company or what we do.
Normally they can rattle off a cursory line from the about page on our website, or perhaps they have had a quick look at our events … but if you have made it to the interview stage, I expect you to have spent some solid time researching our company and understanding what we do.
2 // Research the current projects the company is working on.
The company research should also then extend into projects that are currently being worked on.
Most organisations these days will have a “news” or “latest projects” section .. this is a great way to see what projects are being worked on. But if that doesn’t exist on their site, put your detective hat on and dig a little deeper.
Have a look at their social pages, google them and see if they are being mentioned elsewhere and check out LinkedIn … there is alot of insightful info out there if you are willing to look a little.
3 // Research the people who will be interviewing you.
This is where you can employ a good old fashioned LinkedIn stalk … look up the people who you will be meeting with … you just never know what you will find out.
Don’t worry about the fact that looking at their linkedin profile might throw up a notification to them … it will only reflect well on you that you were bothering to research and prep for the inteview.
4 // Think about questions that might be thrown at you.
There is no way to predict all the questions you might get at an interview, but there are some stock standard questions you can expect might make their way in … and you should be prepared for these:
> What are you strengths
> What are your weaknesses
> How do you manage and prioritise your tasks in a work environment
and a personal favourite:
> Tell me about a time when everything went wrong and you had to fix it
Maybe you won’t be asked these questions exactly, but if you are … they will at least be ready. And if you are not, chances are they will be able to be worked into an answer for a different question anyway.
5 // Prepare your questions.
There is nothing sadder than getting to that point in an interview where you say “so do you have any questions for me” and the interviewee just says “no not really”.
Unless it’s been a very chatty interview where lots of questions were asked along the way … no questions just shows me that you haven’t spend much time thinking about things.
Going into the interview I would think about questions in 3 categories
> Questions about the role eg. What would some of the daily tasks for this role be? What would be some of the key outcomes you would like to see in the first 3 months of someone starting this role?
> Questions about the company/culture eg. How would you describe the company culture? Do you have team-building days throughout the year?
> Logistical questions eg. What are your ordinary working hours? When do you want the role to start?
6 // Get prepared logistically and set yourself up for success.
It’s all well and good to have done all your research and prepped impeccably for the interview, yet you also need to consider the logistics.
What are you wearing, where is the interview, how long will it take you to get there etc.
Although they sound like small logistical details, everything you do to ensure you are in the best head space possible will have a profound effect on your performance in the interview.
Whatever you choose to wear, be comfortable (eg. Don’t wear the shirt that chokes at your neck, even if you do look great in it) or don’t choose to take the bus that gets you there 3 mins before the interview … public transport can be haywire at the best of times, and arriving flustered is never a good look.
As a standard I would say arrive in the vicinity of your interview 15 – 30 mins in advance. Scope out the entry, know where to go, be comfortable knowing you are there and then take yourself for a walk or to a coffee shop to just chill and have a quiet chat with yourself.
You have done your prep, you know your stuff … now you just need to shine!
Good luck – You’re going to be awesome!