Your Guide to Job Interview Preparation

Published On: January 18th, 20206 min readCategories: Career Advice
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This article was recently updated to include more information about virtual interviews.
Last updated: 01 August 2021.

In any normal year, prepping for a job interview is an intimidating task! Couple that with the anxiety around a global pandemic and economic strain, being prepared for a job interview has become a little more daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve prepared a handy guide on what you should look at when prepping for your next job interview, whether that’s in-person or virtually. Let’s get into it.

Research the company

This might seem self-explanatory but more often than not many applicants enter interviews understanding the job role but not the company! Remember, interviewers are going to want to know that you’ve spent some time researching the company to ensure you feel you’re not only a good fit but are also able to take the business to new heights in your professional capacity.

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Visit the companies website, read up on their history and explore their products and services to understand what they do. Be sure to spend some time checking out their social media pages too. You can also ask ahead of time who will be interviewing you from the company. Doing a bit of homework can help you feel more confident!

Understand all aspects of the role

All jobs have various, sometimes even hidden, aspects to them. So, it’s important you understand exactly the type of role the company is trying to fill, it’s not only about a particular skillset required. Companies often have a clear idea of what competencies and characteristics they are looking for in an employee too.

Scenario-based thinking

Sometimes interviewers like to ask scenario-based questions to understand how you might approach certain tasks. Doing your research will help you envision the role a bit more clearly and what you could do to elevate their service or product offering. This can really help you to apply your expertise during the interview and showcase your talent.

Consideration on why you are interviewing for the job and why you’re qualified  

Interviews seem daunting to most because it’s a space where you essentially need to sell yourself. Be sure to do some careful consideration on why you are applying for this specific role, what makes you the best person for it and what sets you apart from other applicants. Maybe not in such plain words, but essentially the question that these interviewers are going to want you to answer to differentiate yourself from all the other applicants is: ‘What makes you the best fit for this company?”

Familiarise yourself with the recruitment process

The hardest part after having an interview is waiting patiently for a response once you have left. A great segue as you are finishing your interview is to ask what can be expected next from the application process.

Revamp your CV to be job-specific

Too many people have a 4-page CV that lists every and all job they’ve had since high school, but it’s unnecessary and may turn off the hirer. Instead keep it short and sweet, with only the experience that is relevant for the job application. Customising your CV for the job can really help you stand out from other applicants.

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If you do decide to revamp your CV you can show your other work experience by simply listing the job title, company name and duration of employment with a note that your full work history can be provided on request. That way you are showcasing what matters most for the job application, first.

Prepare yourself with HR questions

As much as we wish there was a standard set of interview questions to prepare for, it’s better to be overly prepared for anything that might be thrown at you. You can quickly lose confidence and look like a deer caught in the headlights when faced with a question you were unprepared for. Although we can’t anticipate the exact questions; we can certainly take a look at some of the more commonly asked. Let’s get started.

Virtual job interviews tips

Virtual job interviews have become a new norm in the recruitment process. If you’ve not yet experienced a virtual interview or feel like you need to up your game when on video here are a few things to be mindful of when preparing.

Setting up your space

Make sure your background is tidy and presentable. Often during video calls, we are exposing our personal space, and if you do not have a dedicated office space, ensure you’ve set up a video call-friendly background and that you are in a space that is quiet and free of distractions.

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Most video call platforms allow you to blur your background or choose a wallpaper background so nobody can see your space directly. It won’t reflect badly if you choose to use this feature. In addition, if you are worried that there might be background noise explain that up-front to put your mind at ease, most people understand that sometimes it can’t be avoided.

Test the video call program

There are so many programs used for video calling: Google Meets, Zoom, Teams, Skype just to name a few. Be sure to test it beforehand to ensure that you are ready on time and that there are no technical bugs that could interfere whilst you’re in your interview. When you are about to join the video call most platforms also show you a preview of your video, check to make sure your lighting is good and you can be seen clearly, adjust the angle of your camera if needed – that way when you join you can be more confident that you look great on video.

Be mindful of your body language and pace of speech

As you’re in the comfort of your home, it might be easy to forget that people are watching and listening to what you have to say and do over video. Speak clearly and slowly and be mindful of what you are doing when you’re not speaking. Also, be sure you’ve completely ended the call before relaxing.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out more of the expert tips and tricks on our blog!

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