The key to a successful interview is preparation. Researching the company, understanding the role and offering polished responses shows initiative, enthusiasm and a keen interest in the job. Use these interview tips to impress your potential employer during that vital first meeting.
Research the company
Researching the company will help you to better understand where your role fits and your knowledge will boost your credibility with the interviewer. The company website, annual report, newsletters, and media releases can provide you with valuable information on the company’s key products and services, target markets, recent events, structure, culture and future direction.
Your interview preparation should also include reading trade publications and newspaper/magazine articles. These will give you an insight into the company’s reputation, major competitors and wider industry challenges.
Review role details
Carefully examine all the information you have about the role, including the job advertisement and position description. This information is useful for anticipating what you are likely to be asked, so that you can prepare relevant responses beforehand. To set you apart from other candidates, you can also use this information to form intelligent questions to ask at the conclusion of the interview.
Practise your responses
Rehearsing answers to the questions you are likely to be asked is the most critical step in interview preparation. For each potential question, identify practical examples that show how you responded to the task/situation and specify the positive outcome. Rehearse your responses with a friend to gain feedback on whether you are matching your skills, experience and personal attributes to the requirements of the job in a coherent and succinct way.
Know your strengths
The key to presenting yourself in the best possible light is to know your key strengths and be able to communicate them confidently and convincingly. The interview is your opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself, so be sure to have prepared concrete examples of what makes you special. Revise the key achievements from your resume so they are top of mind when responding to questions, and use them to demonstrate how you can meet the needs of the employer better than any other applicant.
You have the best chance of walking away from an interview with a positive outcome when you've done your preparation well. Understanding the position and organisation before your interview gives you a strong advantage on the day. Prepare thoroughly and research the company, practice your responses, and review your strengths with examples to back them up.