You’ve got an interview! That’s brilliant! We know you might now be feeling stressed or worried about how the interview will go, and that’s normal. While you can’t make someone hire you, the impression you make and how you showcase your skills is in your hands. Go through our tips below on how to prepare for a job interview and go in prepared and with confidence.
Do Your Research
Learn about the business/company you are interviewing with. Dive into the business, what does the website say about them and the services they offer? What have customers said in Google reviews? Review their social media pages. Do you want to work for this business? Why?
Review the Job Description
Read and re-read the job description, highlighting key points about the role and its responsibilities.
Make notes on how you meet the selection criteria. This will really help when you’re asked a question related to one of the points in the criteria, and you’ll be able to clearly demonstrate how you have the right experience for the role.
Reread these notes before the interview so they stay top of mind and hopefully you’ll be able to recall key points when needed.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Below we’ve listed some common questions often asked in job interviews. Think about the questions and prepare your answers (write them down). Keep the STAR technique in mind when you do this, as it can help articulate your skills and show how you handle different work scenarios – in a positive light/outcome.
- Situation – where you were working and what your role was.
- Task – what you were working on or dealing with.
- Action – what did you do to fix the situation, solve a problem or meet the KPI or deadline?
- Result – What was the outcome or the impact of the action you took.
Some common interview questions:
- What do you know about our business?
- Why are you interested in this role and joining our business?
- Why do you think you are well suited to this role?
- Can you remember a time you dealt with a challenging customer? What happened, and how did you resolve the situation?
- Tell me about a successful project you participated in. What was your role, and why was it a success?
- Describe a situation in which you didn’t meet a goal. How did you handle it?
- Describe a situation in which you took the initiative to change a process or system and make it better.
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
At the end of the interview, the interviewer/s will usually ask if you have any questions for them, so have a think about what you would like to ask before the interview (so you’re not stuck or lost for words when the time comes).
- Why is the position available?
- How many other people they are interviewing?
- What is their timeframe for coming back to interviewees?
- What start date are they aiming for?
- What is the pay for the role? (if they haven’t already told you)
- Who does this role report to?
- What do you love about working for the business?
And, if at the end of the interview, they have covered what you would’ve asked, when they do ask if you have any questions don’t be afraid to confirm that they actually covered everything and you don’t have any questions at this time.
If this is your first interview, practice with a friend or family member. Or at least ask yourself a question and answer it out loud.
Don’t forget that you will need to look presentable and professional. Plan what you will wear and make sure it’s clean and ready. You don’t want to pull that shirt out of the wardrobe the morning of your interview and find a stain on it!
Be On Time and Have a Positive Attitude
- Be on time (arrive a few minutes early).
- Remember that people may be able to see you while you are waiting for your interviewer.
- Silence or turn your phone off before you go in.
- Smile and greet the interviewer politely.
- Make eye contact.
- Have a positive attitude.
- This will all help you create a strong first impression.
Worried about traffic or the public transport journey? Leave early. It’s better to wait in the car or at a café nearby for the interview time to approach than being late.
If the interview is via Zoom or Teams, dial in a minute or two early and wait to be admitted to the video call and everything above still applies. To be safe, it’s a good idea to test your microphone and camera beforehand. Also check the background seen in the video screen and if needed apply a background filter (eg blur).
Don’t Rush Your Answers
We know, interviews can be stressful and it feels like you are being put on the spot. But remember, you prepared for this. If you can, during the interview remember to slow down, take a breath and remember your notes and key points to help you answer their questions confidently.
Post Interview Follow Up
If you haven’t heard back by the end of the timeline the interviewer indicated, be proactive and contact them to follow up.
If you don’t get the job, if you feel comfortable you could ask why you weren’t successful. It might give you some insights to help for the next job interview.