11/01/2022 0 Comments
Essential Interview Preparation Tips
In the past two years, how individuals prepare for interviews has transformed. Where once the vast number of interviews would have been conducted in the office – which presents its own set of challenges – now almost all interviews are conducted via phone or video call.
While the questions may be the same, the approach, the atmosphere and interview preparation require a new set of skills. Jobseekers, therefore, have to be willing to change their approach and crucially update their interview preparation processes to meet this format change.
Details of the Call
First things first, when you're selected for an interview – be it over the phone or via video call – be clear on details. Make sure you know
- What time the call is scheduled for
- Who you’ll be speaking to
- The number that will be calling you/app they’ll be calling from (Zoom/Skype)
- Company contact information e.g. phone number, email (these may be necessary if the call drops)
These may all seem obvious however we can’t overemphasise how important basic preparation is. If the above information isn’t offered we encourage you to ask. Knowing the time of the call means you can be sure you’re in an area with a reliable phone signal or WiFi. Poor reception or lagging audio can be frustrating for an interviewer. Technology glitches can happen but it’s your responsibility to make every effort to anticipate possible problems.
Is your laptop prone to crashing? Borrow a more reliable machine from a friend or family member. Does phone signal drop in your home? Make sure you’re in an area with a strong constant signal. If you’re using a video calling app you’re not familiar with, download it before the interview and make a few test calls to familiarise yourself with the user interface.
Remember, you want to do everything in your power to make the conversation easy, free-flowing and enjoyable for both yourself and the interviewer and making sure the tech is working contributes enormously to a productive interview.
Research, Research, Research
No matter the format of the interview in-depth research of the company is essential to success. Almost all interviews – from the most formal to the more free-flowing – will include some form of the question: “What do you know about our company?”
In today’s competitive climate, reeling off the information on the company’s About Us page may not be enough to separate your application from other candidates. Of course, the company website should be where you begin your research but it should be treated as your jumping-off point. Check out the company's socials. Analyse the kind of information they share. This will give you a clear understanding of how the company wants itself to be perceived. Don’t stop at the business’s Facebook page. Check out their LinkedIn account. This is a great place to see who else is employed by the business. Who knows, maybe even one of your own connections is a current or former employee.
Check to see if the company uses any other social media accounts like Instagram or Pinterest. These socials will give you a better understanding of the company’s visual identity and customer-facing brand.
Practice Answering Questions and have Questions Prepared
Inevitably similar questions are asked during interviews. No matter the interview format you’ll likely be asked to walk the interviewer through your CV, explain why you left your last company and to outline why you are interested in this role, etc. This kind of regularity gives you the interviewee the chance to research your answers and even practice answering them. An ability to answer questions calmly and cohesively is something all managers are looking for in a new hire. By having prepared answers for some of the more common questions you’ll naturally project confidence.
Most interviews will end with the interviewer opening up the floor for your own set of questions. Always have a few questions prepared. If possible avoid asking the obvious. Instead, study the job description closely and ask genuine questions based on the role or the company. Remember an interview is also your opportunity to assess if this role is right for your career.
Interview Cheat Sheet
Let’s finish off with a cheat sheet of interview tips that can help your application pull away from the pack
- Use headphones during your interview (Background noise can be distracting for you and frustrating for the interviewer)
- Don’t be afraid of a little small talk (Most interviews start with a little chit-chat so follow the interviewer's lead. If they talk about the weather/the weekend, etc. follow up with a few light and breezy questions of your own)
- Have a notebook with your research summarised in bullet point form
- Make sure you have the right equipment and everything is working (make sure to check your laptop, headphones and software to ensure everything is working as it should)
Proper and concise preparation is so often the difference between success and failure in an interview situation. The above outlines some of the steps you can take to prep for a variety of interview types. However, our interview preparation advice can give you the edge you need to succeed in your career. Call us today for more information.