What to prepare before a job interview
Being prepared ahead of your interview will help you to feel more confident
Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. The best way to ease your nerves is to prepare for the interview to the best of your ability. You will have been chosen to interview on the basis of your CV which means that the company already sees potential in you and are impressed by your previous employment or education. You should take confidence from this and bring this confidence with you into the interview.
Preparing for a job interview
On the day of the interview, you'll probably be nervous so it's a good idea to have everything prepared well in advance.
What you should bring
Check in advance to see if you have to bring anything with you to the interview. Ask about the structure of the interview and find out if you will need to have a presentation prepared in advance.
Make sure to have any necessary documents ready such as:
- A copy of your CV
- Application forms
- Exam or achievement certificates
- A work portfolio
- Reference letters
Practise the interview
Practise interview questions at home. If you are in college, there may be a career guidance counsellor who will run interview prep meetings. These are an excellent resource to help you build confidence in your interviewing skills. It's also a good idea to prepare questions to ask the interviewer as they may ask you if you have any at the end of the interview. Do some research on the company beforehand to understand their background and values and make sure to ask questions that cannot be found on their website.
Go through your CV and prepare practical examples which show the interviewer:
- What you think are your greatest achievements
- An example of when you used your initiative
- When you accomplished something you think of relevance to the job position
Organise your outfit
Depending on what kind of company, you may need to wear either business casual clothes or a suit. Prepare your outfit for the interview a couple of days in advance so that you feel comfortable and confident in the clothes you will be wearing during the interview.
Getting to the interview
It is easy to get flustered on arrival, so being prepared about where you are going and who you are meeting can help to calm your nerves.
Bring information about the interview with you such as:
- How to get there
- Contact phone numbers at the company
- The name of who you are to ask for once you arrive
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview and try to be there about ten minutes before it starts. If you have never been to the location of the interview before it might be a good idea to go there a couple of days in advance so you won’t have to search for the place on the day.
Bring your phone and charger, to make sure you won’t be left stranded if your phone dies while using Google Maps. It's also a good idea to bring a bottle of water so you can clear your throat if you get nerves before the interview.
Before the interview
Once you arrive, tell the receptionist (or whoever is in charge), your name and who you are supposed to meet. You may have to wait with other people interviewing before your meeting starts.
- Try not to be intimidated by others in the waiting area
- Focus on your own preparation
- Run over key points you hope to make in the interview
- Turn off your mobile before the interview starts
- Use the bathroom if you need to
- Try to stay calm and look confident
Once you enter the interview take some deep breaths and remember that you have prepared for this interview so should be confident in your ability. You should also take confidence from the fact that you secured an interview, this shows that the employer was impressed by your education or work history and thinks you show potential.
Body language is important so smile, make eye contact and shake hands when you meet the interviewer.
Once the interview is finished regardless of how you feel it went always thank the interviewer when you’re leaving.
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