The Secret to Your Dream Job: Interview Preparation

June 23, 2017 - SOPHIE THOMPSON

If you haven’t effectively prepared for an upcoming interview, then your chances of being offered the position are severely diminished. Interview preparation is essential if you want to give yourself an extra advantage over your competitors. Here’s how to prepare in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Research the Company

One of the biggest deal-breakers for hiring managers is when candidates are invited to interview but know very little about the company or the position they’ve applied for. This is so easy to find out even from just the employer’s website so do yourself a favour and spend a good half an hour - an hour diving into the website.

The 'About Us' section is really useful to see the mission of the company and their core values so that you can see if you would be a good match. There may even be a recruitment section that tells you the type of people they’re looking for and you could make a note of this and tailor your answers to incorporate these attributes into your answers.

Research a company before the interview Make sure you carefully research the company website before the interview, particularly the About Us section.

If you are given the name of the person interviewing you, you could look them up on LinkedIn (although it’s probably best to do this when you’ve signed out so that they can’t see you viewed their profile). This will give you an idea of their work history and you’ll be able to see if you have anything in common, such as studying at the same college, for example.

You can then incorporate your commonality into your interview so that you can make a stronger connection with your interviewer. Remember during your interview preparation that your success is also partly based on whether the interviewer would like to work with you.

Practice Questions

Most questions in an interview are competency-based and you simply answer them based on your previous experiences. There are hundreds of possibilities of questions you could be asked and range in difficulty so practicing as many of these as possible is fundamental for success. If you only do one thing for interview preparation, do this.

We provide an online course with online tutorials, question handouts, and virtual reality practice where you can select general interview questions, technical ones, or company-specific questions. These are all questions that have been asked in real interviews just like yours so are the best way to prepare.

Interview preparation with virtual reality (VR) Practice answering interview questions with the VirtualSpeech VR app.

The VR practice could help calm your nerves too because you’ll be answering in front of a panel of photo-realistic people.

Questions for the Interviewer

You shouldn’t spend the whole time answering questions - you should prepare 2 or 3 of your own to ask the interviewer. Most interviews will ask if you have any questions so make sure you have something to say that isn’t requesting the pay check!

Your questions should be specific not generic to show that you’re genuinely enthusiastic about the job and have thought about the specific role and company. For example, you could ask about the company culture or the challenges previous employees in your potential role have faced.

Plan Ahead

Interview preparation isn’t just about the interview itself, it’s about getting you in the right mindset too. Interviews are stressful enough for most people so do everything you can before the day to reduce your stress levels.

Plan your journey to the interview location and factor in an extra half an hour for traffic or delayed public transport. Plan your outfit at least the day before to ensure you have clean, pressed, clothes to wear. Your outfit should be professional, comfortable and make you feel confident.

For more interview tips, example questions, and to be able to practice the questions in VR, check out our interview training course.