Job interviews can bring unnecessary stress and make you feel anxious. Whether you’re new to the job market, you’re looking to enter a new profession, or you’re ready to climb the ladder, the job interview process is a necessary evil.
Not only does it give the hiring manager a chance to assess your skills and experience in person, but it also offers you the opportunity to sample the office culture and see whether the company aligns with your values.
Below, we’ve rounded up five things you should do if you want to succeed in your interview.
- Conduct thorough research on the company
Not knowing your stuff about the company you’re interviewing at will result in an instant strike against your name, so it’s important that you conduct some thorough research before you attend your job interview. Answering questions about the company’s objectives and attitudes will demonstrate your work ethic and genuine passion for the brand, so it pays to do so. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of everything the company does, but being able to sum up what the company does and linking it in with your skills and experience will help.
- Practice the most commonly-asked questions
The Muse has put together a great guide to commonly-asked interview questions – study this like it’s your bible. Questions such as “tell us about yourself” may seem straightforward, but they can actually be difficult to answer when you’re under pressure, so the more preparation you do in advance, the more confident you’ll feel when you enter the interview.
If you have friends or contacts who have applied for similar roles within the company, then ask them for a briefing. Is there anything you need to know about a particular hiring manager? Should you take in a portfolio to demonstrate your experience and abilities? The more that you know, and the better prepared you are, the more likely you are to relax and deliver the best possible interview performance, which will, hopefully, help you land the job.
- Dress for the occasion
While not every company has a strict dress code, you should play it smart when it comes to an outfit for your interview. After all, it’s better to turn up overdressed for your interview than it is to do so underdressed. Remember that you want to send out the best first impression – so be sure to groom, wear the smartest outfit in your wardrobe and cover up tattoos and piercings. The Balance has put together a list on what to wear to an interview for every type of job, and they’ve also offered tips on make-up and hair.
A great way to decide what to wear for an interview is to check out the company on social media. Looking at team photographs and behind-the-scenes videos will give you a feel for the atmosphere of the office, and help you determine what is the most appropriate outfit. If all else fails, stick to something smart that you’ll feel comfortable in – you don’t want to be worrying about your outfit when you should be thinking about how to boss the interview!
- Double-check your CV and cover letter
If you’ve used a job site such as CV Library to find and apply for your dream job, then check back to the site and review your application. Reading through your CV and cover letter will remind you of why you secured an interview, and give you some useful ideas of what to say when you’re answering a question during your interview. Some hiring managers often try to trip up candidates on statements they’ve made on their CV and covering letter, so make sure you go through everything with a fine tooth comb and be prepared to give examples.
Reading through the job specification, too, will help you out. The chances are that you have applied for more than one job, so understanding exactly what this employer is looking for will help you make the right decisions and say the right things in your interview.
- Do a test run before your interview day
If you’re feeling anxious about your job interview, then consider a test run before the big day. This could include dressing in the appropriate outfit, flicking through your portfolio and physically showing up at the interview location. The latter is particularly important if you’re travelling somewhere unknown for your interview; doing a test will ease your nerves and ensure that, when it comes to the interview day, you won’t get lost or show up late.