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How to prepare for an interview

Research

  • Sector
    • If you are not familiar with the sector then you will find the internet is full of useful information and sector specific websites.
  • Company
    • Read the company website as this will describe the company and its products / services and often provides information on the management team.
    • Check to see if there is a Wikipedia page.
    • Use Google to find the latest news. On the search results page see Tools menu as you can filter by time.
  • Competitors
    • Research their competitors but don’t boldly assert who their competitors are at interview.
  • People interviewing you
    • Use LinkedIn to check the profiles of interviewers.
    • Check to see if they have a Twitter profile and if so follow them.
    • Check the internet to see if there are any videos of them presenting?
  • People you will be working with
    • Linkedin is the best tool for researching the people you will likely be working with. Enter the company name in the search field and select the company to see the staff working there. Have in mind that
      • Some people will not be on Linkedin
      • They may employ contractors/freelancers who may not list the company on Linkedin
      • Some people may be in the process of joining and therefore not updated their Linkedin profiles.
    • Check to see if you know somebody who works there or has worked there
  • Job description
    • Make sure you have thoroughly read the job description and understand what they are looking for.
  • What you need to take
    • Do you need to bring anything with you, e.g. portfolio of work, etc?

How to dress

The following might sound obvious but quite a few people turn up for interviews not following this basic advice.

  • Use a deodorant or antiperspirant.
  • Make sure your hair is tidy.
  • If you are a smoker it can be off putting to non-smokers. Avoid smoking just before the interview and/or chew gum before.
  • Make sure you are appropriately dressed as some companies/people have more conservative views than others. Turning up for an interview wearing shorts, sandals, a plunging blouse or a skirt above the knees is not considered professional/appropriate.

Once you have prepared for an interview you should learn how to handle an interview.