How to prepare for your interview

career advice

Bagged yourself an interview? Good work! You’re half way there to getting the job you want and deserve. Your next step is to ace that interview and bag yourself a new job. Preparation is key and will help you feel confident in your interview. Here are just a few tips to help you through.

Get to know the interviewing organisation

Many people fall at the first question; ‘what do you know about us?’. It isn’t a trick question. The employer doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of the business, like how many staff and they have or the staff rotas. They simply want to know whether you’ve read up on them, whether you understand the line of work they operate in, and whether you have recognised their values. Reviewing their website is a great place to start, as this will tell you succinctly what the organisation does. Read up on the sector, understand the market tends.Your consultant can also help you hear to know a bit more about the interviewer; their background and their role in the organisation. Check them out on LinkedIn, look to see if they have published any articles, information or any tips. The more you know in advance, the more confident and ready you will feel in the interview.

Prove your skills

In your interview you’ll need to get across your many skills and capabilities. But the way you do this will separate you from other candidates. It’s not enough to say you’re ‘passionate’ or ‘responsible’, you’ll need to give examples. When you are posed with a question, for example ‘Tell us about a time you had to persuade someone to do something they were reluctant to do’, think about the three following things to help you answer it.

  • The challenge – what was the problem you were faced with? Set the scene for the interviewer
  • The solution – what was the solution. How did you manage to persuade someone to do something they didn’t want to do?
  • The outcome – what was the result of your work? Happier clients for example.

Using this format will help you prepare for questions you might be asked with responses that get across your skills with proven examples. One of the most worrying things about an interview is the inability to answer difficult questions. Having a practiced, articulated answer to cover the obvious questions will give you a great advantage.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Think of as many questions to ask for your interview before the big day. Ask as many questions as you can and get as much information as possible. Find out about the role, the business, progression, opportunities for success. Ask what it’s like to work there. Ask the interviewer what they think is great about the company. An interview should be a two-way conversation. You’re not there just to answer questions, you’re there to ask them too. The more you know, the surer you’ll be about joining the organisation. It also shows the interviewer you’re interested in the job.  A great exercise is to write out ten and to bring these into your interview. The chances are they’ll be answered in the interview, but it gives you a base of questions to have ready in case they aren’t answered.

Now for the logistics

The one thing you really don’t want is to be late to your interview. So, before the big day, plan your route, what time you’ll need to leave the house, and what you’ll wear to your interview. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there. It’s better to be early than to be late.

Of course, if you have any doubts, questions or you just want to sound off some thoughts regarding your interview, make sure  you talk to your recruitment consultant at BS Social Care. We are always on hand to help you prepare for your interview so you go into it feeling confident.

The blog was written by Brooklea Mills, from our Preston branch