As Alexander Bell said ‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success’.
So, here are our 8 steps for preparing for an interview:
1) Head directly to the website of the organisation and thoroughly read through every page. Never start an interview unless you can confidently answer ‘what do you know about us?’ Or ‘what do we do?’….unless you’ve got a good excuse like it’s for MI5 or the company is in stealth mode.
2) Visit the company’s social media pages and understand the company culture, recent news, and events. This will give you a feeling for what it is like to work there, and you may be able to use this knowledge when answering questions during the interview.
3) Research the person who is interviewing you by visiting LinkedIn and Google their name. You may have something in common, similar interests, or attended the same university. You will also get an insight into their career path.
4) If the interview is taking place via video link, ensure you have the correct software installed and updated so you’re not late. Also, check your camera is well-positioned and background noise is kept to a minimum. If an on-site interview, arrive with plenty of time, especially if travelling from afar. Research somewhere local to grab a coffee and revisit your interview prep, if you arrive early.
5) Always wear smart clothing – unless specifically told not to. This is even more important if the role will have a customer-facing element.
6) Prepare questions to ask prior to the interview. When you are under the pressure of an interview you may forget things that you noticed in your interview preparation, or forget to ask things that are important to you. Asking questions also makes you seem keen and can open out the conversation.
7) Based on what you know about the role and the organisation, list the traits and skills that are needed for the position. Now, consider your experience, skills, and strengths in terms of the qualifications and experience required for the role. Write down examples of activities or work experience where you have used skills or have transferable skills necessary for the position. If you realise you are rusty in an area, you have some time to brush up on your knowledge.
8) Run through a mock interview using some generic interview questions with a family member or friend who can offer feedback on your answers, and put you in an interview mindset.
If you go through all of the above steps, you should go into the interview feeling fully prepared and confident.
RedTech Recruitment are a specialist recruitment agency supporting STEM graduates to post-doc researchers to find their first roles in industry.