The ultimate guide to preparing for an interview
Posted November 22, 2013, by Gavin F. Redelman
Congratulations! You have been invited for an interview. Now you should make sure that you are excellently prepared. The first step is beginning to research the company. Once you have done this you will be ready to prep for the interview questions, learn how to improve your interviewing skills and begin to think about what you’re going to wear to the interview. In this article you can find essential interview preparation tips.
How to research the company
In order to succeed in the interview you need to do your homework on the company. There is no set of rules on how to do your research, but preparing yourself as much as possible will greatly enhance your chances of getting hired.
Make sure you use every available resource to help you with your preparation. By doing a basic Google search on the company you can easily learn important facts about it. It’s easier to prepare your background research for publicly listed companies than privately listed ones, as public companies are legally required to make certain information available.
In the 21st century, the Internet has made a lot of the pre-interview research more available and easier to find. Don’t forget that you can also use other sources of information like public libraries or bookstores. Many magazines and journals can provide important and up-to-date information on your company and also provide you with information that your competitors who are also applying for the same job won’t know.
Your research for the job interview preparation should give you a better insight on:
- The history of the business
- How old the business is
- The types of services the business offers
- The hierarchy structure
- How many offices/locations the business has
- Number of employees
- Career progression
- The business culture
Check out the competitors’ websites as well – they are also a good source of information for your job preparation.
How to prep for common interview questions
To start with, you should ask yourself what the interviewer is likely to ask and prepare answers for these common interview questions. However, do not try to memorise exact answers word-for-word. They will sound scripted and will be easily picked up. What you need to do is have your answers planned, but be ready to adapt or change your answers depending on how the conversation plays out.
There are literally thousands of ‘general interview questions’. Below you can find 15 of the most frequently asked questions:
- Tell me about yourself
- Why did you decide to leave your last job?
- Where else have you applied?
- What’s your greatest strength?
- What’s your biggest weakness?
- Why have you applied for this job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
- Why should we hire you for this job?
- Do you work well under pressure?
- How do you handle change?
- Briefly describe your ideal job
- What makes you want to work hard?
- How would your co-workers describe you?
- What motivates you?
- Tell me about your salary expectations
How to dress for the interview
Now that you have done your research and prepared for the interview, it is time to dress for the interview. There is a general rule you can follow: don’t try to dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want to have instead.
Does what you wear to an interview really make a difference in the hiring process? The answer is yes – the way you dress always matters.
Don’t allow your appearance to damage your chances of being hired for a job. The most important aspect is to dress appropriately for the role you are applying for. Applying for a position in a coffee shop is a lot different to applying for a role in a law firm. The best way to find out what type of clothing is appropriate to wear to the interview is to do a 10-minute stalk of the organisation and see what the employees are wearing. This way you can’t go wrong.
Different colours evoke different emotions and it is imperative when you’re interviewing that you evoke the right emotions from the interviewer.
Blue and grey: Words that describe the colour blue include: trust, loyalty, wisdom, peaceful. These are exactly the type of feelings you want to be portraying in your interview. Blue is a calming colour (think of the ocean and sky) and sends out a signal to the interviewer that you are indeed honest and sincere. Studies have shown that wearing the colour blue to an interview will increase your chances of getting hired more than any other colour. Another colour which is great for wearing at interviews is grey as it conveys sophistication and authority.
Red: In contrast to the colour blue, this colour stirs emotions more than any other colour. Red is a strong colour, very emotional, an extreme colour that in an interview scenario can work against you. Unlike blue which has a calming effect, red is fiery (think love and passion), and can be an intimidating colour for the interviewer. Red is also associated with power and assertiveness.
To sum it all up: remember the importance of the first impression. Know your audience and dress accordingly.
This article is based on the free eBook Interview Secrets Exposed, written by Gavin F. Redelman of RedStarResume and published by bookboon.com. You can find more than 1000 free eBooks on bookboon.com. Topics range from career and personal development to MS Office and management. Visit bookboon.com to browse all of their free eBooks.