Preparing for an interview can sometimes be more nerve-racking than the meeting itself. However, with the right preparation and guidance, you can make the interview go the way you want it to. We spoke to Skills Development Scotland, the people behind My World of Work, the award-winning web service for online careers information and advice, to find out their top tips.
It’s important to capitalise on the accessibility of the internet and social media and do some research on your prospective employer. This will enable you to understand more about the business and what they might expect from you.
Ruth Scott, Skills Development Scotland Careers Adviser said: “It’s important to make sure you do your research on the company you’re applying to ahead of the interview.
“Read the job description carefully and note down what skills and strengths they’re looking for. Check out the company’s website and learn about what it does and what its goals are. You can use this information to explain how your personal qualities match up with the company’s needs.”
Memorise your CV
Chances are, if you’ve managed to secure an interview then your CV has interested the employer. It’s a good idea to review your CV before the meeting so you know everything that is in it. It’s common for interviewers to refer to specific aspects of your CV and decifir how it would relate to the position.
Practice your answers
It can be helpful to practice your answers before the interview so you have a rough guide of what to say. A quick look on the internet or a chat to Skills Development Scotland can help you find the best way to answer questions and include all the best points.
Regardless of which kind of job you’re going for, it is always important to dress appropriately. In most circumstances this means smart or smart casual. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed as it will show the interviewer that you take the role seriously.
Emphasise your strengths
As a nation we are all guilty of being too modest when it comes to our strengths and abilities. However, there is usually many more candidates going for the same position as you so it is important to make yourself stand out. Informing the interviewer of your strengths, especially those that demonstrate your determination and initiative can set you apart from other candidates.
Be on time
My World of Work advises: “Write down the address, work out how you’re going to get there and, if you can, do a practice run. Aim to arrive 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.”
Although it’s easier said than done, it’s best to go into an interview as calm as possible. If you are relaxed, the conversation will be a lot more comfortable and you will be able to articulate your answers to the best of your ability.
Speak positively about the position you are going for and your previous experience, this will show the interviewer that you are interested in your chosen field.
Go into detail
Have a clear list of examples of times when you accomplished something. It is important to to explain what you’re task was, how you went about it and any obstacles you encountered and how you overcame any issues.
After the interview is finished, it can be good to ask some questions to clarify any information regarding the job. This will also show that you are interested and attentive.