Five tips to successfully prepare for your job interview

Five tips to prepare for your job interview

You never know exactly what you’re going to get in a job interview. On one hand, it could be an engaging, enjoyable experience. On the other, it could feel like a never-ending interrogation. Unfortunately, you don’t have total control over which experience you’ll have. However, you can tilt the odds in your favor by being proactive and thoroughly preparing for your interview. It requires some effort, but it’s worth it!  Proper interview preparation makes your responses to questions more applicable to the job at hand, and can give you a competitive edge over other candidates.

Being prepared can give you more confidence in selling your talents, and help offset some of your interview jitters. Here are five tips to help you prepare for your next interview.


Give the company’s website a thorough look. You should familiarize yourself with their products and services, but also pay attention to their About section and their Mission statements. These are great places to find hints about the company’s culture. Another great way to familiarize yourself with a company’s culture is to review (or stalk) their social media platforms. Scroll through company Facebook and Instagram photos to put some people and imagery behind the mission that the company promotes as their culture.

Review & Print Resume Copies

Updating your resume is a crucial step in preparing for the interview.

  • Make sure your resume clearly highlights your previous responsibilities and successes, and also provides a clear snapshot of the impact you had in those roles. Use bullets to quickly capture the important details.
  • Double check for grammar and spelling errors by reading the text aloud. It’s also always a good practice to let someone else proofread your resume to catch errors that you may have missed.
  • Print off a few hard copies to bring with you to the interview. Even if you sent it electronically, it’s not uncommon for the interviewer to ask for a copy if he or she forgot to print one out ahead of time.

Have Questions for the Interviewer

This is commonly overlooked, but having a couple of relevant questions to ask your interviewer can make a big difference in their perception of you. Have 3-5 questions on standby, and make sure that some of your questions reflect the research you’ve done on the company.

Dress to Impress

Make sure your clothing is clean and ironed, and that you’re exhibiting good hygiene. Does your hair need a quick brushing? Is there anything stuck in your teeth? And while you may need a piece of gum to freshen up from your morning coffee, don’t forget to spit it out before speaking with the hiring team!

Arrive Early

Map out the interview location – know exactly where you are going. Leave enough time to find alternate routes if needed. This can prevent some unnecessary stress and allow you to arrive early enough to gather your thoughts, review your resume, and take a breath before your interview begins. You can also use the extra time to strike up a conversation with the receptionist if there is one. Getting some small talk in right before meeting with the interview team can help loosen your interview tension.

These tips can’t guarantee you will get the job, but you can have the satisfaction that you gave your best effort to make the best possible impression on your potential employer.

Are you looking to make your next career move? Search jobs at CA.

Don’t be scared this Halloween. 6 Interview tips to calm your nerves.

Don’t let a job interview freak you out this Halloween. Before you scare yourself to death, it’s natural to be a little nervous before a job interview. Just remember that you are half way there for getting the interview in the first place. Remain calm, empower yourself and be positive. With these 6 easy tips you will be absolutely fine!

1. Know your CV/Resume
Just for a second, imagine you are a shop owner. Now think of your CV as the shop window to your own high street shop. The customer (the interviewer) likes the look of your shop window (your CV) and has chosen to see what’s inside your shop (this is your invitation to the interview stage). The customer (the interviewer) wants to come into your shop to have a discussion about what products you have (they want to find out where you can add value to their company). You’d need to be confident about what you are selling to get the customer to buy one of your products right? This is why it’s vital you have a thorough understanding of your own experiences, skills, employment history and qualifications.
Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need to remember:
a) What qualifications you’ve achieved
b) The order of your employment history
c) Job titles, role descriptions and achievements
d) The skills, expertise and experience you have that will be suitable for this new role

2. Research the role & the company
We all know happens to those houses who don’t stock up with sweets for trick or treaters at Halloween. They get egged! Being asked what the company does and why you’re suitable for the role is as guaranteed as hearing the words “trick or treat” this Halloween. Be prepared or you’ll end up with egg on your face. The worst thing you can do is not know anything about the company or the role.
Don’t panic, many times hiring managers won’t expect you to know everything about the company, but spend some time on their website and find out about:
a) The company’s services or products
b) The company’s history
c) The company’s culture
d) Their competitors
e) Latest corporate news/blogs
f) Relevant information on the department or team you may be working
Read the job description and prepare to answer the following:
a) Why this role suits you?
b) How you can meet their expectations?
c) What made you apply for the role?
d) What experience, skills and expertise you have?
e) Where can you add value to their organisation?
BONUS TIP: Jot all of this research down and take your notes into the interview so you can refer. Honestly, you will gain respect right away if you know about the company and the specific details of the role you’ve applied for and you’ll feel a lot more confident walking into your interview.

3. Research the interview team
Any good hiring manager will have done their research on you so repay them the favour. Knowing who is interviewing you will calm those pre-interview nerves. Think of your interviewer as a first date. You don’t know anything about your date just yet but knowing a little bit about them will definitely help with those ice breakers!
Check them out on LinkedIn:
a) How long they’ve been at the company
b) Their background
c) What they do in their current position
The interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them, so be prepared, ready and armed with your own questions. The research you complete from Tip 2 will also help when writing these questions.
QUESTION EXAMPLE: “I see you’ve worked for a number of competitors in the past, what made you join this company 10 years ago, and what’s also made you stay here for such a long time?”

4. Relax
Whether you have kids or not, Halloween can be a very hectic time. People overload on sugar, throw wild fancy dress parties and generally get a little over excited. Skip those parties, hide the sweets and candy and get a good night’s sleep the day before an interview. Some people relax through exercise. Some put their feet up and listen to their favourite playlist on Spotify or watch a film on Netflix. You would have done all the preparation before the interview so do try to relax the night before an interview.

5. Remember your checklist
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Before you pack for the interview, spend time researching and preparing for your interview especially if you have tasks such as presentations to complete. On the day, try to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview time. Arriving late will only increase stress and make you nervous so allow time when travelling to your interview as traffic and delays can hinder your commute. Remember you can always grab a drink in the nearest coffee shop before your interview to kill time.
The checklist of things to take to your interview on the day is:
a) Copies of your CV
b) Interview notes including your questions
c) A bag with the above including copies of your qualifications and a notepad & pen to jot down notes throughout the interview
d) If you’re required to present or take in a portfolio, insure you have backups either online or on a USB/portable hard drive
e) A plan of how you will get to your interview, reviewing traffic reports or public transport updates
f) A positive attitude, throw all those bad energies away – this is your opportunity to show what you are all about. Be yourself.

6. Get your costume ready
Interviews are just like Halloween parties, you have to look the part. Remember to dress to impress. If you walk into the interview feeling well dressed it makes you feel better about yourself and you will naturally perform better. Do make sure you look clean and presentable, it goes a very long way.

Event: Job Interview
Location: Company HQ
Dress code: Gentleman – Smart business attire, suits advisable, shirt and tie acceptable.
Ladies – Smart business attire, suits advisable, office trousers or skirt acceptable.


stuart-hazellAuthor: Stuart Hazell
Connect with me on LinkedIn here