Interview Preparation

Are you nervous about an upcoming job interview? If you answered yes, this is completely normal and a good sign that your mind is aware of the fact that you need to perform at your peak.

There is no better way to calm nerves and perform well at an interview than by preparing adequately. Specific preparation will vary from employer to employer and from job to job, however the team at Blackwattle Careers have put together 3 key principles that can be applied for almost any job interview.

Research the company:

An employment arrangement is a 2 way street. Not only is employing someone a big deal for an employer, it is just a big a deal for a candidate to select an organisation that will allow for the achievement of career objectives and align with personal values.

We too often hear about the costs of a bad hire for business, but very rarely do we hear about the costs to individuals who accept opportunities that are a misfit for them personally.

Researching a company before making an application and attending an interview are critical to ensure that the position is a good fit for you.

Understand exactly what it is that the business does, know where the business operates, understand the company values and research the organisations history.

Attempt to gain an insight into the profitability of the organisation and the stability of its operating environment – is it subject to rapid change due to technology, government policy or legislative change? If yes, what might this mean for your career?

Key resources to assist this search will include the company website, company reports, company announcements and tapping into your network to identify anyone you know who works at the organisation or may know someone who works there.

Position research:

Once you have researched the company and determined that it is in alignment with what you are seeking, the next step is to ensure that the position on offer does likewise.

The availability of information related to positions will vary from organisation to organisation, in some situations you may be reliant on a job advertisement alone, whereas in other situations you may have access to a detailed position description.

Having enough information to reasonably form the view that the position will allow for the achievement of personal career objectives is very important in our view.

In order to research a position, firstly review the advertisement very thoroughly. Look to understand the responsibilities and attempt to determine how success will be measured.

Has a position description been uploaded with the advertisement? If so, review it in great detail. If there is no position description, look to see if you can contact the recruitment officer and ask them if you could review a copy of the position description or alternatively, arrange a time to have a discussion with them about the role, responsibilities, expectations and key requirements.

Understanding a position, how it is measured, where it sits within an organisation and opportunities for progression are key pieces of information we feel are critical to allow candidates to make informed decisions about their career.

Self assessment & interview preparation:

Once you have researched the organisation and the position, it is now time to apply that knowledge to self assess your skills, abilities, experiences and career objectives. Is there a consistent fit? Do you fall short in some areas? How would you attempt to overcome this in an interview?

This type of questioning and thinking will ensure that heading into an interview you understand your strengths and weaknesses related to the position and most importantly, have a plan as to how to communicate and present yourself in response to them.

Also at this stage, undertake some preparation for common interview questions. Think about why you have applied for the role, what you know about the organisation, how your personal values align with those of the organisation and what you will bring to the role.

Preparing for job interviews is critical if you want to succeed. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.