Confidence is key. No matter how many times you’ve sat in the chair facing your potential employers, interviews can be tough. Taking the time to prepare, not only about the company but also about yourself, will make you feel a lot more confident and at ease.
A drumbeat that we follow here at Optimum Consulting is to always keep it simple and that’s why I suggest following these 3 tips when preparing for your interview, whether it’s in person or over the phone:
1. Research the company
Find out as much as you can about the organisation! Employers look for candidates who are well prepared and well informed. Being able to answer questions with knowledge and confidence will not only impress but also give you the confidence you need to answer any potential tricky questions.
Useful sources include:
- The company website
- Google “News” search
- LinkedIn and other social media networks
- Friends and business associates
Things to keep an eye out for:
- Their values
- Their leadership team
- Their culture
2. Learn about yourself
The best first impressions don’t just come from how well prepared and knowledgeable you are but also how well you know yourself. Who are you as a professional? What makes you tick? Being informed about the company is only half the battle. Knowing your strengths, skills and career history will help to boost your confidence and lead to a smooth interview.
- Know your career history – thinking on the fly when asked situational questions and/or to provide certain examples in the workplace can rarely work in the stress of an interview. Knowing tangible examples and preparing answers beforehand can demonstrate self-confidence and excellent communication skills
- Strengths and weaknesses – almost all interviewers will ask this in one form or another. Base your strengths off the job description and be honest about your weaknesses or areas of improvement, and how you would managed it
- Soft skills first and foremost – Your resume may have secured you the interview but your soft skills will land you the job. Relax, be yourself, think first before you speak and remain positive. Employers assess your presentation and attitude just as much, and if not more than your technical skills
- Job description – The company has set out what they want and what they’re looking for, so use it! Develop the comparisons with what you believe are your strengths and areas of improvement, but also use this as a tool during your interviews
3. Ask questions
Interviewers favour candidates who ask questions and want to know more. Nothing says interested and knowledgeable like asking questions about the role or company you wish to work for. Remember, you should be using the interview to interview your potential employer as well. Are they truly the right fit for me?
- What qualities do your top people exhibit?
- What are some challenges of this position?
- What contribution does this role have in achieving the company goal?
Being well prepared is the best way to overcome nerves and give you that extra confidence, so don’t let yourself get caught out. Good luck!
What is your top interview tip?
Tamarah Nguyen – Consultant