How to Really Prepare for an Interview

Woman shaking hands

Fabulous news, you’ve received an invite to attend an interview for the role you really wanted! It’s a step up from your current role, with a company offering great benefits and opportunities. You’re feeling excited, but are you really prepared to showcase your capabilities?

There’s so much information out there guiding you on how to get ready for an interview, however a large proportion is common sense. Yes, dressing to impress and arriving 15 minutes prior to your arranged time is important, yet they are probably things you do each day already, right? Moreover, they aren’t going to help you through the difficult questions or tests to come.

Interviews for mid-level and senior roles are more than a little chat. Of course, first impressions count, as do memorable answers. Most include industry leading questions, scenarios and practical tests. Therefore, ensuring that you are up to date on current industry knowledge and trends is a must prior to stepping into the interview room.

Whether this is your current situation, or maybe you’re thinking of applying for a mid-weight role in the near future, here is how to really prepare for an interview. Giving yourself the best opportunity to show what you’re made of….

Steps to take to prepare you for that next interview

Now from personal experience, of course reading up on the general interview hints and tips is important. There may be a few you’ve forgotten about since your last interview. If this is the case, here are some pointers to kickstart your mindset.

However, as I mentioned above, they aren’t going to help you excel in your key areas! Here are some steps to take to significantly improve your interview experience:

Understand the offering prior to your interview

One major pet hate and a deciding factor for around 82% of interviewers is a lack of understanding, which is highly reasonable. You have many online resources at your fingertips to research what type of company you are applying for, their culture, mission and your selected role. After all, this is the workplace you are hoping to develop a career with, therefore showing you have an interest is a must. Otherwise it will look like you are attending the interview for the sake of it.

Make sure you are prepared for questions such as: ‘Why do you want to work here?’, ‘What values do we have in common?’, ‘How do you see your career developing with us?’ and ‘Why does this role excite you?’. There’s nothing worse than sitting in front of a panel blank faced, dancing around the question.

This information can be obtained from online resources such as company websites, social media profiles and Glassdoor reviews. It’s amazing what you can find just by searching on the likes of LinkedIn!
 

Understand why you are the ideal fit 

After fully understanding what you are stepping into, you need to recognise why you would be ideal for this role. There will be many candidates just like you sat in that interview room, how are you going to sell yourself?

Now I am not just talking about listing how much of an amazing communicator you are, your last 5 years of experience, or your shiny first-class degree. I’m talking about using previous authentic examples you have experienced to fit the key responsibilities for this role. This will showcase how you can boss the day to day activities without fail.

For example – One responsibility for your new PR role may be dealing with members of the local press professionally. Here is your chance to use any previous situations where you’ve taken control, turned a situation around or achieved great results. 

This will show interviewers that you can handle aspects of the role prior to stepping into the office.

Prepare for your interview by reading up on the latest trends and tools out there

Every industry goes through different trends, including the use of new software and tools. Now you already know this with your years of experience in your current area. However, just like you’ve developed over the years, so do technology-based tools. 

Prior to attending your interview, it is important that you understand recent developments as interviewers may ask you questions regarding this, with the expectation that you are immersed in your area of expertise.

Additionally, you may be asked to complete a task using the latest appropriate software. Therefore, it would be an idea to get to know this tool prior to your interview. Not only will this demonstrate your capabilities, it will express your passion for your industry and this opportunity.

Prepare a list of appropriate questions 

When attending previous interviews, you may have experienced a one-way stream. However, an interview is also an opportunity to find out if this is the workplace for you. That is why preparing a list of appropriate, strong questions will make effective use of an upcoming interview. Here are some recommended questions to ask to demonstrate your interest and thirst for greater things.

Take examples of your work into your interview 

Now not all companies will request examples of your work prior to an interview, however it is a great idea to arrive armed with a portfolio. This will act as supporting evidence that you have the skills to fulfil this role. Additionally, interviewers can take it away which will act as a trigger to remind them of your interview. This can work in your favour if your interview went well!

Be yourself

The most important thing you can do, alongside the above is be yourself. If you are honest with who you are and why you are sat in this exact interview room at this time, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to shine. Of course, keep it professional, but by showcasing your personal characteristics, there’s a greater likelihood of building a positive relationship.

If you are busy preparing for your next interview, ensure to take the above steps to get the most out of your experience. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest industry advice @wesourcegroup

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If you are searching for your next senior role in the IT and Digital world, contact our team today on 01244 455222 / hello@wesourcegroup.co.uk, and we will guide you through our current opportunities.

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