Have you been offered a job interview? If so, congratulations. Now that you’ve managed to secure the interview, the next step is to make sure that you’re fully prepared. After all, job interviews can be very competitive. Past research has shown that the average corporate job opening receives around 250 CVs, with around just six people getting to the interview stage. From here up to three people will be invited back for a final interview before one is offered the all important job position.
So, if you want to make sure that you are the chosen one, you need to ace your interview. It’s no surprise that to do this successfully you need to do some preparation.
We’ve researched and compiled these useful tips to help you prepare for your next job interview and help improve your chances of getting hired.
Prepare for the job interview
Whether you are going to an intern, part time, full-time role, or graduate job role, it doesn’t matter what type of job interview you are attending – either way it is essential to prepare beforehand. So how to prepare for a job interview?
- Re-read the job listing and check the company’s website so that you can identify the skills and interests the interviewer will be looking for. Make sure you’re prepared to demonstrate the skills and experience you possess that match up with the job requirements.
- Find out more about the company and their history. This may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but research has found that nearly 50% of interviewers wouldn’t offer the job to someone who didn’t research the position beforehand. This is because researching the company shows that you are passionate about the job – and it also shows that you are willing to put in time and effort to succeed.
- Look over your CV and decide how you will explain any issues – for instance, if you took time off work, or if you changed career paths.
- Finally, you should plan the journey to the interview beforehand, especially if you have never travelled to the area before. It is very unlikely that you will get the job if you arrive late.
Decide on what questions to ask
Many people struggle to know what questions to ask in a job interview. It’s important to think about what to say at the end of the interview when the interviewer will expect you to have a few questions. If you don’t, it could seem as if you are not particularly interested in the job. Having questions to ask could also help you stand out from another candidate.
However, it can be really difficult to think of what questions to ask on the spot, so you should always come prepared and think about them beforehand.
Alternatively, if you are struggling to decide what questions to ask for a job interview, here are some great example questions you could ask;
- What is a typical day like?
- What are the main responsibilities for this role?
- How many people work in the office?
- Will I get the opportunity to grow and advance in the company?
- How would you measure my success?
- Do you require references?
Know how to play your weaknesses
One of the most common questions asked in an interview is to detail your greatest weaknesses. So how do you highlight a flaw without putting the interviewer off? It can be difficult to know how to approach this question – should you be totally honest, or should you think of weaknesses that could help with the role?
The best option is to give a thoughtful, honest answer that makes you seem both professional and self-aware. Also, highlighting something that was once a weakness but that you have now managed to learn from and have therefore turned into a positive, is recommended. Here are three job interview examples;
“I used to take criticism personally. However, now I see it as a positive and welcome constructive criticism which I believe will help me in the long-term.”
“I used to be disorganised, but to overcome this I have created timetables to help schedule my time accordingly. I’m now able to meet deadlines.”
“I am a perfectionist.” Although this can mean that I may spend too much time fixated on a task, it also means that I ensure that the task in hand is completed to the best of its ability.”
Remember that it is very important to be honest – otherwise you could end up working in a role that isn’t well suited to you. So, take the time to think about your weaknesses, and it is likely that your answer will impress the interviewer.
Dress to impress
Once you have prepared with all the above, the next thing is to think about is what to wear to the job interview. You should always try to make a great impression with your outfit, but it is important to choose an outfit that is right for the job. Think about the company that you are applying for. Is it corporate? Is the working environment more relaxed?
If you are having difficulty in deciding what to wear, the safest option is to wear business attire (such as a suit jacket with a tie, or a blouse with smart trousers or a smart skirt). Block colours such as a crisp white shirt, simple blue or black blazer are generally more favoured.
Job interviews can be scary, but by following these tips and doing some additional research on your own, you should make an excellent impression in your interview and increase your chances of landing the job.