Top Tips for Preparing for a Job Interview

6 Step Interview Preparation Plan

In interviews, your job is to convince a recruiter that you have the skills, knowledge and experience for the job. Show motivation and convince a recruiter that you fit the company culture and job description, and you will get much closer to a job offer.

1. Research the company

This will help you answer questions — and stand out from less-prepared candidates.

Seek background information.

  • Use the internet to get an overview of the company and its industry profile.
  • Visit the company website to ensure that you understand what they do.
  • Review the companies background and mission statement.
  • Assess their products, services and client-base.
  • Read recent press releases for insight on projected growth and stability.
  • Speak to existing employees to get their views on working for the company.

Get perspective. Review trade or business publications. Seek perspective and a glimpse into their industry standing.

Develop a question list. Prepare to ask about the company or position based on your research.

2. Compare your skills and qualifications to the job requirements

Analyse the job description. Outline the knowledge, skills and abilities required.

Examine the hierarchy. Determine where the position fits within the company.

Look side-by-side. Compare what the employer is seeking to your qualifications.

3. Prepare responses

Most interviews involve a combination of resume-based, behavioural and case questions.

  • Find sample questions most relevant to the type of job you are applying for. There are many websites available that will provide you with a set of sample questions.
  • Where possible use one or two work experience examples to answer as many questions as possible this will reduce the number of things you are trying to remember.
    For example: if you had a situation where you may have had to go above the call of duty, dealing with a stressful situation and manage a potential risk, this would cover off the employers questions regarding your flexibility, your ability to handle working under pressure and your awareness/understanding of risk management policies and procedures.
  • Practice answering questions with a family member, friend or in front of the mirror. This will make you more confident and relaxed during the interview as you will know what points you want to get across to shine.

4. Prepared questions

Many interviews end with “Do you have any questions?”

Bring a list. You could lead with…… “In preparing for today’s interview, I took some time to jot down a few questions. I will just review my notes if that’s ok to see what hasn’t already been covered.”

Be strategic. Cover information not discussed or to clarify a previous topic — remember do not ask for information that can be found on the organisation’s website.

  • In your opinion, what makes this company a great place to work?
  • What do you consider the most important criteria for success in this job?
  • Can you tell me about the company’s culture.
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

5. Plan what to wear

Go neutral. Conservative business attire, such as a neutral-coloured suit and professional shoes, is best or simple shirt/blouse with plain skirt/trousers

Plug in that iron. Make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle-free.

Dress to impress. Be sure that your overall appearance is neat and clean, keep make-up understated and jewellery to a minimum.

6. Plan what to bring

  • Extra copies of your CV on quality paper
  • A notepad or professional binder and pen
  • A list of references
  • Information you might need to complete an application form
  • Your prepared list of questions