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Small steps to take, to make a great first impression

How to prepare for an interview: your ultimate guide

Congratulations on landing an interview!
This is an important step towards securing your dream job. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate, interviews can be a nerve-wracking process. The key to success is all in the preparation.

What is the purpose of an interview?

Job interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process. They give employers an opportunity to get to know you and determine if you are the right fit for the job. Typically interviewers will be assessing you on your personality and fit for the team at this stage, along with your answers so making a great first impression is vital.

Top tips for a successful interview

Research the Company
Before going into an interview, it is crucial to research the company you are interviewing with. This will help you understand the company’s values, mission, and culture, and allow you to tailor your answers to the interviewer’s questions. You should research the company’s history, products or services, and recent news or developments. This will show that you have a genuine interest in the company and the job. If you can name drop any of these into your answers – it will be a big tick on the interviewers paper!

Review the Job Description
Make sure you thoroughly review the job description before the interview. This will help you understand the job requirements, skills and experience the employer is looking for from you. It will also help you to prepare answers to questions about your qualifications, tailored to the new job role.

Practise Your Responses to Common Interview Questions
Many interviews include common questions that employers ask to get to know you better. These typically don’t change much from job to job as they are less role specific and more about how you would handle different situations or examples of your history.

  • Here is a list of some of the most common interview questions to be prepared for:
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you faced a challenge and how you overcame it?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership skills?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your skills and experience in this field?

Dress Professionally
First impressions are crucial. Dressing professionally shows that you take the interview seriously and respect the interviewer’s time. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and appropriate for the role. Even if the role isn’t office based or in a professional setting, you can still set the tone for the interview by coming across professional yourself.

Arrive Early
Plan to arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes early. This will give you time to find the interview room, have a pit spot, and calm your nerves. If you’re not familiar with the area, plan your route in advance and leave early to account for traffic or delays.

Use Positive Body Language
Body language can convey confidence and interest or nervousness and disinterest. Your body language can sometimes make or break an interview, if the interviewers believe you’re too relaxed or not taking it seriously. Our top tips would be to sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and smile. Avoid fidgeting, crossing your arms, or slouching. These actions can make you appear closed off or uninterested in the conversation.

Bring the necessary documents
Bring copies of your CV, references, and any other relevant documents to the interview. This shows the interviewer that you are well prepared and organised. If your role is more visual, a designer for example – you can also bring examples of your work.

How long do interviews typically last?

Interviews can vary in length depending on the company and job. Typically, interviews can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. However, some interviews can last several hours, especially if there are multiple rounds or if there are tests or assessments involved. It is important to plan ahead and allocate enough time for the interview, so you are not rushed or stressed.

What questions should you ask the employer in an interview?

Asking questions during an interview is important because it shows your interest in the job and the company. Here are some questions you can ask the employer during an interview:

  • What does a typical day look like for someone in this role?
  • What are the company’s values and culture?
  • What opportunities are there for growth and development?
  • How does the company measure success?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the company right now

In conclusion, preparing for an interview is crucial for ensuring a successful outcome. By researching the company and job, practising common interview questions, dressing appropriately, arriving on time, bringing the necessary documents, and using appropriate body language, you can make a great first impression and increase your chances of getting the job. Remember to also ask questions during the interview to show your interest and enthusiasm for the job

Need more help?

You can contact our dedicated team at OLG Recruitment to get further advise with your interview techniques and any other recruitment questions.

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