How to prepare for a job interview ✅
Have an upcoming graduate job interview? Here’s our interview preparation guide to help you nail the interview and secure your dream graduate role!
1. Breakdown the job description
Our first top tip for how to prepare for a job interview is to read over the job description and highlight the key skills, qualities and qualifications an employer is looking for.
You want to show the interviewer you’re a great match for their role, and the best way to do this is to be aware of what the most important required qualities are for the role and discuss these into your interview answers.
Almost all job descriptions will have a ‘Job Requirements’ and ‘Key Responsibilities’ section, these are the two most important areas where key qualities of the role will be listed.
Make note of at least three of these, and prepare short statements which highlight examples of where you’ve demonstrated these skills previously.
For example, if an employer asks you “why do you think you’re a great fit for this role?”, you want to first open with a sentence explaining your understanding of the role, followed by why you’re a great match. Here’s our example answer:
“This role requires excellent communication skills and the ability to build rapport with a wide range of clients and customers [knowledge of the role]. Having previously worked a Sales Assistant role at a popular retail shop, I’ve developed great interpersonal skills, having to greet customers on arrival and ensure an excellent level of customer service was delivered [example of where you’ve demonstrated a required skill]”.
Not only will this show an employer you have a great understanding of the role, but also that you’re a great fit and possess the right qualities – all helping you stand out. Check out our blog for more tips on how to stand out in an interview.
2. Research the company in detail
If you’re wondering how to impress an employer in an interview, researching the company before your interview is key.
Researching the company online shows an employer you’re interested and serious about the role and shows you’ve used your initiative.
If you’re wondering how to research a company, here’s our guide on the things you should be looking for and how to best find them:
- Find out what the company does, the industry they operate in and any recent projects they’re working on. Visit the company’s website and social media pages for recent updates. This is useful information to bring into your interview answers and your research will also give you an insight into if the company and sector interests you.
- Ask yourself if this is a company you’re passionate about working for? Do you want to get involved in their new projects? You want to apply to graduate roles in companies that excite and motivate you. Knowing what you want from a job is a crucial step in your graduate job application process.
- Finding out about the company culture is important to see if you’ll be a great fit for the company and will enjoy working for them. A good place to find out about a company’s culture and environment is to visit their ‘About Us’ and ‘Meet The Team’ sections. Find out about other positions in the company and what they do and what kind of values the company stands for.
- Another great way for how to research a company for a job is to research their key competitors. Research the main companies that operate within the same industry and see what projects they’re working on and what they’re doing differently. Bring this information into your interview answers, and ask the employer questions about their competitors. Here’s our example way to structure a question to the interviewer:
“From my research, one of your key industry competitors [name] is currently working on [X project] to improve the efficiency of their sales, is this something you would consider or have plans to work on in the future? [insightful question related to the current company]”
3. Prepare for some of the most commonly asked interview questions
Preparing for commonly asked interview questions is a great way to confidently and calmly answer questions. For some common questions to prepare for a job interview, watch our video playlist on ‘the top job interview questions and how to answer them’.
Tip: change the playback speed in the settings at the bottom right corner, to suit your learning requirements.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up-to-date with all our useful uploads!
4. Get in the right frame of mind for your interview
Interviews can be stressful and can take a toll on your mental health. It’s important before your interview or upcoming series of interviews, to take some time for yourself to do the things you enjoy.
Whether it’s spending time with friends, going for a walk or cooking – the day before your interview make time for these activities.
It’s a good tip to carry out your interview preparation a few days before, so you have the day before to relax and get into the right headspace for your interview.
You will have been selected for an interview for a reason, so be confident in yourself and your abilities and try to keep a calm and composed mindset before your interview.
5. Organise important logistics and technology
To further help you feel relaxed before your interview, it’s beneficial to organise all the important logistics. If your interview is in person, make sure to double-check the timings, location and plan your route.
Being late for an interview never looks good, so ensure you’ve allowed additional time to travel.
If your interview is being held virtually, make sure to test our interview platform and make test calls so you’re used to the basic functions and won’t panic during the interview not knowing how to use something.
Find a neutral and well-lit setting and test out your camera and microphone to make sure they’re working properly.
Or, if your interview is over the phone and you’re wondering how to prepare for a job interview over the phone, make sure you know the interviewer’s name so when they call you can confidently answer.
Ensure you won’t be disturbed during the phone call by finding a quiet setting and informing people you have an important call.