Preparing for an interview
Many applicants fail to prepare adequately for an interview. Well-prepared applicants therefore enjoy a significant advantage.
Good preparation will include the following:
- Make sure you know exactly when and where the interview is scheduled to take place and ensure you arrive early. Try to find out exactly who the interviewers are and if possible, gain some understanding of their backgrounds.
- Conduct on-line research to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation. Begin with the organisation's web site and then expand your research leveraging search engines such as Google, Yahoo and similar. Check for recent public, media or investor announcements. Review any publicly available financial data to gain insight into the organisation's financial position and risk profile. Examine competitor organisations web sites, peak industry body web sites and similar to ensure you have a handle on the wider environment in which the organisation operates.
- If you know people who work or have previously worked for the organisation, contact them to ask for their impressions.
- Think through examples of your experience that may align with the requirements of the role and rehearse articulating them.
- Develop a series of questions you would like answered if you are given the opportunity during your interview. This will help to demonstrate your strategic thinking abilities, your knowledge of the organisation and the environment within which it operates. Responses to your questions may assist in determining whether the organisation is one you want to work for.
- Re-read your resume, cover letter and any materials you might have about the job (for example, a job description or advertisement) to ensure you are totally familiar with the information.
- Ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you, so you are able to practice your responses to common interview questions. Ask them to critique your performance, including your body language.