You can fail an interview before you even shake the interviewer’s hand. Competition is tough in the current market, and anyone who shows up underprepared isn’t going to get far. That old adage is as true as ever: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Devonshire have coached thousands of candidates through their interview preparation over our quarter-century in business, and we have some solid tips for candidates nervously awaiting an interview.
Hopefully, you already know what the company does. But to get a more thorough understanding of the company and their culture, research them online. Their LinkedIn company profile should tell you how many employees they have and give you a good idea of the size of the company. Their Twitter presence should tell you whether their company culture is corporate or informal (is their social media personable and chatty, or purely towing the company line?). Look through their website – what are their current products? What’s on their news page?
The company itself isn’t the only important element to consider. You should also research their industry, which includes looking into their chief competitors. Where is the company placed within their market? What products and services do their competitors offer? What are the industry trends that you should be aware of?
The research you do should of course be relevant to the role you are interviewing for. If you are up for an IT job, look at their website and get an idea of their needs. If you’re interviewing for a marketing role, take a look at the company’s communications. If you’re a designer, look at how you might improve their current creative.
Plan your day
There’s no point researching the company to within an inch of your life if you manage to get lost on the way to an interview. Plan your route, and time it so that you arrive with plenty of time to spare in case of travel delays. It’s far better to stroll round the block a few times to kill time than to rush into the building late, breathless and sweaty.
You might look a little strange, but why not talk through your CV in front of a mirror? Interviewers nearly always ask candidates to talk them through their CV and their previous jobs, so what’s wrong with practising? Get it nice and concise without rushing. Just be careful not to end up being too over-rehearsed, and delivering it by heart in a monotone.
Prepare the right questions
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions. Rather than panicking and asking about money, why not prepare a couple of questions? Maybe you’re curious about something you saw on your site, or you just want to know what an average day in the office might be? Or maybe you want to know what their pain-points are at the moment, and what you’d be expected to work on?
It also goes without saying that when you go into an interview prepared, you’re also going in confident. And that can’t hurt either.
Register as a Devonshire candidate here.