Step 7 – Prepare for interviews

If you want to be fully prepared to find a job then before you apply to any job you should make sure that you feel confident to attend an interview. These days, it is common to be asked to attend a phone/video interview with less that 24 hours’ notice and there’s lots you can do to prepare in advance that will help you feel more confident.

To prepare effectively, here are some tips:

BEFORE INTERVIEW DAY

  1. Review the position description, research the company and the individuals you’re meeting with and be clear about your CV and your story. Make sure to think about what examples you can use to describe different situations/behaviours e.g. teamwork, time management, communication.
  2. Make sure to have appropriate professional clothing to wear that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
  3. Make sure your technology is working for you. Test your connections and lighting. Make sure the environment is appropriate and consistent with your professional image. Make sure all distractions are removed.
  4. Prepare notes or answers to common interview questions and make sure to have a range of examples you can use for any situational questions you get asked. Practice saying answers to commonly asked interview questions out loud. You can record yourself and then listen back to your responses or practice with a friend or a professional. Make sure you feel comfortable talking about your strengths and areas for development.
  5. Think carefully about what questions you want to ask in interviews. Avoid asking too many questions in a first interview.

ON INTERVIEW DAY

  1. Arrive early at the location or online.  Always be polite and professional – think about your appearance & behaviour – what does it say about you? If you’re running late, get in touch and remain calm. Remember, they want to meet you and that’s why they’ve organised the meeting.
  2. During the interview, remember to breathe and smile. This can help you to feel more relaxed which can help you to speak slower, improving your pronunciation.
  3. Listen to the questions carefully and make sure to speak at a good pace, not too fast. This will allow you more time to think about what you’re saying and also, if you have any accent, it will help make you easier to understand.
  4. At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

  1. Send a short, follow up thank you email to each person you met with. Have a look at the example below.
  2. Write notes about what you think you did well including questions you answered well and more importantly, write about questions that you think you didn’t answer well – how could you have answered those questions better?
  3. Think about what you learned from the experience and what improvements you can make for your next interview – do you just need to practice more so you don’t feel so nervous? Remember – through practice you will feel more confident and as a result, sound more professional.
  4. If you are unsuccessful getting the job and you want to get feedback to help you with your job search, you can always ask for feedback by calling or sending an email. To find out how, click here.

Example Follow up email:

Dear XXX,

Thank you for taking time to meet with me today. I enjoyed learning more about the XXX role and your company. I feel confident that my previous experience at XXX would enable me to be successful.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,