How to Prepare for Job Interviews
What’s a good way to prepare in advance?
There are numerous things to consider which are all important; wearing appropriate clothing, researching the company, confirming available parking on the day, and practicing answers to possible questions.
What’s most important is knowing yourself. Confidence can come with having a clear sense of your goals and capabilities, and why they would be relevant and valuable to an employer.
If you can take the time to develop genuine confidence in who you are, you won’t feel pressured to present yourself as someone you’re not. The best way to prepare? Practice, practice, practice!
Should I take my references and qualifications to an interview?
You can, but there’s no expectation for employers to review them, or guarantee they’re even interested. It can be a great way to provide further evidence of your credibility however.
What can be really effective is providing a portfolio of your work if you have one; completed projects, customer testimonials, photos etc. CVs and cover letters aren’t really the best way to determine whether you can do that job or not, so consider how else you might prove your capability.
What should I wear?
What do employees at that company wear? A general rule is to dress ‘a level up’ from what’s typical. For example, if most staff dress tidy casual, at least a button-up shirt or blouse might work. If most staff dress formally, a suit and tie could be more appropriate. Tradies can be far more relaxed, but should still make an effort to dress tidily.
Studies indicate up to 55% of an employer’s decision is based on how you dress, act and first walk through the door, so think about what will help you make the best first impression you can.
What if employers ask me something I don't know the answer to?
Be honest. Most employers value integrity and can usually tell if you're discussing something you don't really understand. This can impact your reputation and cause the employer to doubt your credibility. If you just need more time, ask if you can come back to the question.
If you don’t know the answer at all, you might offer to find it out and feed it back to the employer, or take it as a learning opportunity for future interview prep.