Published: 16 May 2016
There’s no such thing as too much interview preparation. We all cringe at that question we ought to have known, that topic we didn’t research, or how we were flustered because we ended up running late.
Our handy pre-interview checklist allows you to cover all of the major aspects of your interview in great detail before you’ve even entered the building – allowing you to relax, safe in the knowledge you’ll be performing at your very best.
- A route plan for your interview location, with plenty of time to spare. It’s an obvious point, but you need to know where you’re going! For example, could you honestly say how long the journey would take in rush hour? Having the route clear in your mind will stop you from panicking when the day itself arrives. It’s a good idea to have a printed map with directions, just in case there are any last-minute technology failures.
- Background research on the workplace/position/interviewers. Knowledge of the practice or company (such as its aims, achievements and longer-term goals) will only strengthen your application. Applying that knowledge to the role in question, and how you would use it to make a fantastic impact – will set you apart from the other candidates. If you can find out more about who will be interviewing you, this will really help you to understand how to present your points in a way that will appeal to them.
- Clear identification of how/why you’re great for the job. By the time you’re at the interview stage, your CV has clearly impressed people in the recruitment process. But it won’t speak for you once the interview commences. Make sure you have examples of previous achievements – and practical application of your skills – ready for the interviewers. You could also practice your answers beforehand, to make sure they’re crystal clear.
- Answers to anticipated and potentially dangerous questions. Even if the interview is for the job of your dreams, there will be certain aspects of the role in which you have either not yet had experience, or faced setbacks. You’re bound to be asked about these areas, so give yourself the best possible chance of success by preparing answers for these. If something went wrong, explain how you’ve learned from it and taken steps to improve. If there’s an area you’re unsure of, you could point out how you’re taking additional training or studying in your spare time to strengthen your skill set. Fare from being caught off guard, you may even turn a perceived weakness into a strength.
- A bag with key items for the big day. When it comes to the interview itself, it’s really helpful to have certain things to hand. A few copies of your CV, the job description, the questions you want to ask and a pen and paper for taking any notes should help you cover almost all eventualities.
Following even these few tips will allow you to focus on the task in hand - giving the very best account of yourself at the interview.