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Do Your Research


1. An online search

The company’s website is the best place to start. It shows the company as it would like to be seen and the products and services they offer. You’ll get a feel for the corporate style, culture and tone of voice. Remember to do an additional internet search to hunt out additional information, news and blogs on the company.

As you filter all this information, consider how the role you’re applying for relates to the company’s mission. You may also be able to use the site’s search facility to discover more about the person or people who will be interviewing you. Failing that there's always LinkedIn.

You should spend some time looking online for any other information you can find about the company. Put their name into Google News to see if they’ve had any recent interesting stories written about them. You could also discover some information written by their current employees on what it’s like to work there.

It’s also worth searching for your own name to see what crops up – your potential employer may be doing the same thing.


2. Industry sources

It’s not just information about the company that you should be armed with – you should also have a good knowledge of the industry  and markets in which you and they operate in, so you can impress at the interview. Browse through business publications and websites to see what they are writing about your potential employer and their industry.


3. Preparation

This is the bit most people forget to give enough time to, so don’t get caught out. Just like when you’re going into an exam, feel confident that you can handle any question thrown at you, remembering to stay positive throughout. It will show!

Top tips:
  • Conduct an interview role-play with a friend or relative based on the common interview questions you’re likely to face.
  • Be sure you know the time, date and location of the interview as well as the name of interviewers.
  • Decide how you will get to the interview, when you need to set off to arrive in good time, anticipating any delays. Do a dummy run if necessary.
  • If you look good, you tend to feel good too. Avoid any last minute panic by preparing what you’re going to wear the night before.
  • Don’t go into the interview with lots of baggage - psychological or physical. Take the bare minimum with you so you can concentrate on the interview, and nothing else. 
  • If you are asked to bring certificates, references, etc, get them ready well in advance to avoid having to chase around on the morning of the big day.

4. Be methodical

Sit down with your CV and make notes, just as if you were preparing for an exam. Study your work record and what you have achieved. How do you see yourself? What have you done? What career ambitions do you have? What could you bring to the company?

Try to relate specific areas of your CV back to the job description. It will make it clear to the interviewer why they should hire you.

Remember, one of the most common interview questions is “Tell me about yourself.” Prepare a balanced and succinct answer to this question, not a life history. Keep it professional and don’t stray into personal feelings or family relationships.
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