Interview Hints & Tips - Preparing yourself

So you’ve got yourself an interview… congratulations! But what do you do next? It’s important to remember to prepare yourself for the interview, you don’t want to go in unprepared as it may seem like you don’t care about the role. Interviewers value well presented, well-prepared interviewees, so let's make sure you’re one of them;

Start by practising interview questions. There are many interview questions that you can expect to come up, for example, ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace?’. Practice questions like this with a friend or family member and work on how you plan to answer them. With a question like ‘What are your weakness’ try to turn a negative into a positive by saying something like ‘I struggle with being on time’ but then turn it into a positive by saying ‘so now I set my alarm half an hour earlier so I know that I’ll always be on time’. This shows that you have initiative and that you acknowledge your weaknesses but you strive to turn them into a positive.

Next prepare documents that you might need to bring with you, for example, your cv and your passport. Make sure your CV is up to date and neat by keeping it in a lightweight folder in preparation for if your interviewer asks for a copy of it. Potential employers also occasionally need to see proof of ID in order to ensure that you have a right to work in the UK so ideally bring your passport with you and if you don’t have one of these then bring a provisional or full driving licence with you. You want to come across as professional and prepared for your interview as possible so, even if they aren’t required, having these documents with you is better than having nothing with you when your interviewer asks if you have the required documents with you. Also, try to keep these documents in an easy to reach place in your bag or your briefcase so that you do not have to fumble around to find them when they are required.

If your interview also has a technical or practical stage, make sure you set a few hours aside to practice what you will be doing so that, when it comes to the real interview, you are prepared and feel comfortable with the task you need to perform. It is incredibly important to remember to stay calm and so prepare yourself before the interview by thinking through what you want to say, how you want to come across and what you want to achieve from this interview. You don’t want to create a nervous or unprofessional impression with your interviewer, but instead create a confident, memorable and personable impression, so take your time to get into the headspace required for this.

The main thing to take away from this blog post is to take your time to prepare yourself. This interview can lead to a job that you could have for the rest of your life so you want to start on the best foot possible so put plenty of time aside to focus on how you want this interview to go and how you are going to make that happen. Next week on our blog we will be talking about ‘Doing your research’ for an interview so make sure you come back next Monday for more helpful interview hints and tips.

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