Go online and find out as much information as you can about the company and anyone you will be interviewing with. Companies are blown away when you can mention press releases, know their revenue numbers, quote statistics, know backgrounds of executives, etc. Many times this information is not readily available, but some savvy online searching can turn up valuable information about a company.
Most successful athletes and performers visualize their craft prior to playing or performing. Try to visualize your interview and how you will present yourself and answer questions prior to interviewing. If you get nervous during interviews, you might even consider having someone you know do a mock interview before you go. The more you practise, the more comfortable you are, and the less nervous you will be when the interview arrives.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses
Although all interviews are slightly different, interviewers tend to ask similar questions. Think about and write down your answers to these stereotypical interview questions. That way you will be prepared to answer well and not taken off guard and have to make something up ‘off the cuff’.
- Why do you want this job?
- Where do you see yourself in 2 to 5 years?
- What would you consider are your strengths?
- What would you consider are your areas of weakness?
- What did you enjoy/like most about your last job?
- How do you think your previous experience will help you in this post?
If they ask where you see yourself in the next X number of years, let them know that you are more focused on the current position at this time, but you would obviously want to be considered for appropriate promotions as you master this position and show high performance.
Prepare for Behavioural Questions
Many companies use an interview technique known as behavioural interviewing. This method of interviewing asks candidates to give specific examples of situations they have encountered. For example, "tell me about a time you didn't meet a deadline and how you handled it." Take time to go through the questions below and write out examples to keep for future interviews. It can be difficult to come up with good examples to behavioural interview questions on the spot, and you will be far better served if you can determine good examples in advance. Work-related examples of:
- How you handled not meeting a deadline
- How you dealt with conflict with a co-worker or boss
- What you did when someone else's actions caused your project to fail
- When you have shown initiative
- What you did when a customer was upset with you
- A time when a co-worker blamed you for something that was not your fault
To find out more about interview skills click on: First impressions count