How To Prepare For A Job Interview

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Are Resumes Still Relevant? /How To Prepare For A Job Interview

How to Prepare For A Job Interview 

I came across this question while reading questions posted on online career boards and thought this was an excellent question to address. Are resumes still relevant today, what is the real purpose of a resume and how do you create one that gets you noticed in today’s competitive job market.

How Much Time Do You Need to Prepare for a Job Interview? 

People generally tend to underestimate the amount of time they need to prepare for job interviews. Successfully preparing for a job interview requires a lot of time upfront. Because of this, most people tend to be underprepared. As someone who has sat on many interview panels, it is obvious when a candidate has not spent enough time preparing for a job interview. After all the time spent trying to secure an interview, why blow it by not giving yourself enough time to prepare?
The best time to start brushing up on your interview skills is when you first decide to look for a new job. And not a few days before your job interview. There is no such thing as being too prepared for an interview, so get started now. 

Why Preparing for a Job Interview Is Important

A job interview assesses your ability to demonstrate how you meet the role requirements and how you intend to deliver the role. It is virtually impossible to show this without any prior preparation. This is why preparing for a job interview is so important. Get personal career coaching from me. Your interviewer will assess you to determine how well you understand the organisation’s needs and how aligned you are to their mission, aims, and goals. And also how your skills, experience and passion for the role mirror the role requirements. Preparing for your interview will give you access to the information you need to position yourself in the best way. And will ensure you are addressing all the critical requirements of the interview.  

Tips for preparing for a job interview

You can and should do several things to prepare for a job interview. The below list provides a few of my recommendations to help you prepare for a job interview.

- Research your prospective employers and understand what they do inside out. 
- Study the job description to understand the problems the position being recruited for will solve and why
- Understand your prospective employers mission, values and future aims 
- Practice how you would answer common interview questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “why do you think you are the right candidate for this role?”
- Know the difference between the different interview structures and styles of questioning.
Preparing well thought out examples for those key situational interview questions like “Can you describe a situation in which you led a team, what did you do and what was the outcome?” 

What Should You Prepare for a Job Interview?

As mentioned previously, job interviews assess your ability to meet and deliver on the role requirements. There are vital things you should do when preparing for an interview. Doing these things may determine the success of your interview. The below list includes some of my most important recommendations when preparing for a job interview.

- Go over the job description and person specification a few times, highlighting the key requirements of the role. Note what the role/organisation asks for and practice answering interview questions based on this information.
- As you highlight the key requirements, think through examples of how you have demonstrated the role requirements from your current and previous work experience.
- Have a range of examples that demonstrate your passion, skills, experience and energy.
- When preparing examples, choose the best examples for each type of question.
- Look at your prospective employer’s website, social media, and print or online publications. Pay attention to language and key terms used, as you will want to practice mirroring this language when preparing interview answers.
- Make sure you prepare answers well in advance and, if possible, practice delivering these answers out loud and in front of a mirror.  

Questions to Prepare for a Job Interview

The final part of preparing for your job interview involves preparing in advance questions to ask at the job interview. It is essential to have well thought out questions at the end of the job interview, as this can demonstrate an eagerness to be a part of the team and passion for the role. At the same time, it provides an excellent opportunity to build rapport and demonstrate that you understand their cause and align with their vision. Below are some examples of questions I love receiving from candidates at job interviews.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?
What are your top priorities for this role, and if successful, what would you want me to focus on in the first three months?
Where do you think I could add value to the organisation?
How would you describe your company culture?

How you prepare for a job is essential and often, the more time candidates spend preparing, the better they tend to do. There are key things you should look at to help you to prepare for a job interview. What do you do when preparing for a job interview?

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