What To Do Before The Job Interview
What To Do Before The Job Interview
Rod Cornwell (International Director, Thomas International) gives expert video advice on: What research should I do before the interview?; Do I need to study the industry I'm being interviewed for? and more...
What research should I do before the interview?
When you have recieved notification that you've got a job interview, it is easy to panic - but don't. There are certain tasks that you need to carry out prior to attending a job interview. Firstly, do your research; make sure you know exactly where it is that you're going for your job interview, how long it's going to to take you to get there, and what the parking or transport arrangements are. If you're coming in by train or tube, you need to arrange leave plenty of time. Find out how long the journey is likely to take you before leaving for the interview. If it's by car, do they have their own parking? Do you need to register a parking space? Do you need to make sure you are feeding a meter? Have you got plenty of change? Those sort of obvious things are essential to consider before an interview. Moving on, you need to look at their website; you need to find out who is interviewing you, what their position is, what offers there are on the website in terms of other jobs that they are advertising, and also look at the press releases that are linked the home page of most company websites. The website can tell you an awful lot about what is going on in their industry at the moment before you attend the interview. New awards they may have got, new contracts they may have won, people that they may have taken on, who is moving up, who is moving down. You need to find out as much about this industry as possible before you enter it, in order to be prepared for your interview. You should have all your research together prior to arriving for an interview. Other things to consider before your interview include how long it is going to take you to get through building security to reach your actual interview. You need to have a window of a minimum of ten minutes to get from the signing in process to the interview itself. Before you arrive think about how many questions you need to ask in the interview, how long the interview is going to last, what questions you need to ask and what questions the interview is going to ask you. Think about what the interviewer is expecting from you before you arrive, and, very importantly, consider the dress code before leaving for the interview. All of these questions can be answered prior to going in. The whole idea of a successful interview is being so well prepared before it that you really don't have to worry that much about the interview process. Often we go into panic or frustration in an interview because we have not prepared before it, or we're rushed or hassled. By having perfect preparation before you arrive for the interview you get rid of most of that emotion.
What should I take to an interview?
The most essential things you're going to need when you get to the interview are a pen and something to write on; preferably a nice pen, you know, something nice and silvery or shiny or something like that, not just a cheap little Bic that's been chewed at the end. Also, you should take a pad that looks quite nice and clean; not sort of dog-eared around the corners and scribbled all over it. The whole idea is to convey a very professional image. Those are the absolute basics. In addition to that, you may want to phone the interviewer and say "What do you expect from me in this interview? Do I need to do some kind of PowerPoint presentation? Do I need to give some kind of illustration? Do you have a projector? Do you have a laptop that I can use?" All these sort of questions need to be addressed. However, the basics are your ears, a nice pen, and a nice pad.
Do I need to take a copy of my CV to the interview?
Bear in mind that the only information your interviewer has in front of them during the job interview is your CV. Therefore, sometimes it might be a good idea to take your a copy of your CV along with you. But normally you should have most of it stuck in your head before a job interview, anyway.
Do I need to study the industry I'm being interviewed for?
During your job interview, you will be asked questions that are specific to the industry, and indeed, specific to your task. It's very, very important that you study the industry before the job interview and that you have quite a thorough grounding in the type of business that you're going to be involved in.
Do I need to be up-to-date in current affairs?
Quite often people have asked, "Well, how much do I need to read the newspaper before a job interview? How much business knowledge do I need to have? How much political knowledge do I need to have for this interview?" Think of the relevance that it has to a) the industry, and b) the role that your job interview is for. People don't expect you to be a political or business guru. Think of the specifics before the interview itself.
Can I take anyone with me to an interview?
It's not a very good idea to take anyone else along with you to a job interview. If you physically take them into the building they'll probably be left in reception anyway, because the job interviewers want to see you - not your mum, or your girlfriend, or your boyfriend or your dog. Also, it is sending out the wrong message to your prospective employer; by bringing someone to a job interview, you will cause them to think that you cannot stand on your own two feet. Leave other people at home. Do not take them to your job interview.