How to prepare for interview
2 October 2014
The key to a successful interview is preparation. There are several things you can do to improve your performance:
- Make sure you do your research: have you looked at the organisation’s website? Read its latest annual report and news articles? Google for gossip and news.
- You can anticipate some of the questions they will ask from the Job Description and Person Spec. Practice answering some of the questions with a friend, if you can.
- Decide what you will wear. Make sure it is clean, ironed, has all its buttons, still fits, etc. Clean your shoes and make sure they are comfortable – if not, they are a distraction.
- Do you need a haircut?
- The day before your interview, read your application form again. Many of the interview questions are likely to draw on the content of your application. Take a copy with you.
- Take a pen and paper to make notes, if helpful – but ask permission.
- Check the route to the interview venue, get an early train, have a coffee in a nearby café.
- Arrive a few minutes early, use the loo, check hair, make-up (if any), etc.
Remember, your first impression is important and can never be recreated.
- Not knowing about the organisation or role, or your CV.
- Not being clear about your motivations.
- Wearing inappropriate clothing / make-up, etc.
- Being late!
- Have your researched the organisation, department, and individuals interviewing you?
- Done a press and media search for anything topical on the organisation and sector?
- Prepared answers to typical questions asked?
- Prepared examples and evidence of how you skills and experience match the selection criteria?
- Prepared two or three questions to ask the interviewer? Not just, “What is the pay?” Perhaps, “I see from your report and accounts that your income is shifting from unrestricted funds to restricted funds: what effects is that having on HQ costs?” or ??
Download this article as a PDF: