In my career I’ve had quite a few interviews and I like to interview for a new role at least once every six months just to keep practicing my routine and techniques. Here are some of the steps I take to prepare for interviews — I should note while this is primarily from my experiences of financial services roles, I do believe the steps can be applicable to a role in any industry:
- Research your interviewers
Look at your interviewers’ connections and backgrounds on LinkedIn and Google. See if there are any common connections or projects you have worked on which could be favourable to call out. Speak to any mutual connections to find out more about the hiring manager to see what their management style is like (in confidence of course)
- Research your company
I was always told to find out the share price of the company if they are publicly listed — although it’s never come up, it’s good to understand where the company is in terms of its 52 weeks and all time prices. It should help you understand whether the company is doing well and you can use it to compare to its industry peers.
Review their financial accounts to see which businesses are driving their revenue s— this should give you context about your potential new team and how they fit into and support the company.
Read the companies News and About Us sections on their website — do take the time to understand the organisation structure (if available), recent news articles, key figures at the company and sometimes information on the hiring process is published here too.
- Google yourself while logged out of your socials
Log out of your socials and google yourself to see how a potential employer or interviewer will see you when they do their own research on you. It’s important to log out of socials so you can view what someone with no access to your account will see. You may want to remove any information appearing in search engines which you don’t want potential employers to see.
- Write out 5 stories relevant to skills your new employer will need
Review the key skills required for the role you are interviewing for — probably best to do this by looking at the job specification and writing these out.
Think about and write out 5 stories which are relevant to one or more skills. Give context about your story, provide any technical information required to understand the story, present examples of where your relevant skills are demonstrated.
- Practice some basic interview questions
There are a lot of places online to find basic interview questions and I would suggest you prepare your answers to some of these questions — or at least think about how you would respond. For example: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Why do you want to work at this company? What is your biggest weakness? Why are you leaving your current role?
- Check glassdoor for interview questions / salary insights
Glassdoor is a good source of information to learn about your future employer — previous / current employees and interviewees typically share insights on interview formats and salaries which could be vital to you securing your job offer or making a decision on whether you want to spend your working week at this particular company.
- Remember some Do’s/Don’ts
Again there are various lists of these available online. My key ones are: Arrive 15 minutes early to the location to reduce risk of transport delays
Take a couple of copies of your CV with you and be prepared with a question or two about your employer
Take a bottle of water with you (in case you are not offered any) — interviewing is thirsty work
Don’t talk salaries at the interview unless asked to — can usually cover this with HR separately
Add your interviewer(s) on LinkedIn after the interview and thank them for their time
If you have any thoughts on the above, or other tips, please drop a comment.