How to prepare for the interview - tips and advice on preparing for an interview

how to prepare interview
'Interview' - this is a word that can strike fear into the hearts of many a jobseeker and it may not surprise you to know that a large percentage of job applicants often get cold feet and decide to give the interview a miss altogether!

So how can you make sure that you're not a part of that percentage? Preparation, preparation, preparation.
Properly preparing for your interview really will help to alleviate those nerves and dramatically increase your chances of success on the day.

The first thing you need to do is remind yourself of why you have been called for an interview in the first place - your potential future employer wants to meet you. You have already impressed them with your CV and application form and deserve to congratulate yourself on that.

Next, it's time to focus back on the job you are applying for and think about all of the reasons why you feel you are the best person to take it on.

Ahead of the interview, go through both the job description and person specification (if you have one) that you were given along with the application form. For each role that is listed on the job description, try to think of an example from your past experience that demonstrates how you can fulfil this role.

The same goes for the person specification - identify ways in which you can show the interviewer that you meet all or most of the requirements and write these down so you don't forget.

Next, pick out your unique selling points - which aspects of your personality or past experience differentiates you from the rest of the applicants? For example, was there a particular project that you were involved with, or even in charge of, at your last company that gives you a unique insight into what your prospective employer is looking for?

Employers want people who are flexible, have a positive attitude, can show initiative, solve problems and work as a team player. An interview is the perfect opportunity for you to highlight that you have all of these attributes.

Once you have identified how you can show the interviewer that you are the right person for the job, it's time to start thinking about how you will fit in to the company as a whole.

Researching the company is important as it demonstrates that you are enthusiastic about the position being offered and that you are interested in learning all about the company and the industry in which it sits.

Have a look at the company website, its products and/or services and if you have time, ask them to send you a media pack for more information. It is doubtful that the interviewer(s) will ask you many questions about the organisation itself and don't worry, they certainly won't be attempting to 'test you' on your knowledge - however it's always a good idea to have some answers at the ready.

Find out who will be interviewing you from the organisation, whether it will be just one person or a panel interview and ask how long the interview is expected to last. Fear comes from the unknown, so it's important to arm yourself with as much information as possible so that you don't worry about what to expect.

Another important, if not slightly obvious, part of preparing for your interview is to find out where it will be held. Print off directions or enter the postcode of the venue into your sat-nav and, if you have time, do a test drive. Plan to arrive at your interview approximately 15 minutes before your start time - you don't want to arrive too early but it's never a good idea to arrive late!

Take time to think about what you are going to wear on the day. While it is important to 'look the part', you also need to feel comfortable, so that you're not distracted by itchy seams or tight buttons. Ask a friend or family member what their first impressions are of your outfit - this will give you an idea of what others may see too.

Finally, prepare a list of questions to ask at your interview. These could be related to the job role itself or the company. Asking questions not only helps you gather more information about whether you would like to accept the job if offered, but also shows your interviewer that you are interested in what they do.

Remember, an interview not only gives the employer the opportunity to determine whether you are the best person for the job, but just as importantly, is also an opportunity for you to judge whether this job is the right one for you.

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