Introduction: How to Prepare for an Interview
Hi, this Instructable comes to you from www.mytalentplace.co.uk and is all about the steps to follow in preparing professionally for an interview. Good job opportunities are rare currently. Professional preparation is one of the best possible ways to stand out from the competition in your interview and give yourself the best possible chance of being short - listed and then selected.
I'll walk you through 5 easy steps to success. All it takes is a committment to 1 hour of preparation time. That's not much, if you consider what goes with being selected for that great career opportunity!
Step 1: Identifying Skills Required
Most opportunities or vacancies will come with a job description. If your opportunity does not, call up the Recruitment department and make sure you get one. At least they'll now know your name and will have an idea that you're doing some preparation. Once you have this, here's what you do:
1. Read through the job description and use the list of skills provided to identify between 5 and 8 skills required to be competent in the role. Even if you don't have much experience, you'll be able to do this without too much effort. If you need help, get a friend or family member involved. 2 or 3 heads are better than 1.
2. Try and group the skills you've identified into logical clusters (put similar skills together)
3. Without much effort, you now have an accurate picture of the skills required for the role!
Our next 2 steps tell you how you can use this information to your advantage.
Step 2: Tailoring Your Cover Letter and CV (resume)
Now that you know the skills required, you need to do 2 things:
1. Tailor your resume (CV) to include these skills
2. Tailor your cover letter to refer to these skills
The video will take you through this with an example.
Step 3: Developing Questions About the Job
Your superior insight into the role, now allows you to identify relevant questions about the job. This puts you at an advantage relative to the other candidates who have not analysed the job description.
The video will give you some ideas on how to do this.
There are further detailed instructions and templates for answering questions at www.mytalentplace.co.uk/career-advice/interview-questions-answers
Step 4: Researching the Prospective Employer
I'm always amazed at how few candidates arrive at the interview having done any professional research on the company they're applying to join! I suggest there are 2 levels of research:
1. Basic research: This requires you to know the basic information about the company such as:
a) What its main products/services are
b) Some history about the company
c) Where it operates
d) The company's general "reputation"
Most of these points are easily found on the company's website or through a simple search on your favourite search engine. This should not take more than 15 - 30 minutes of your time.
2. Detailed research:
If you're really serious about standing out from the competition, then I recommend investing another 30 - 60 minutes of your time in some more detailed research. This is what you should do:
a) Search the web for press releases and news about the company in order to spot major launches, events, market response to services/products and investor reaction to results etc. By doing this, you will quickly be able to identify how the company is doing, its reputation and whether it is viewed as being well managed or not.
b) If its a quoted company, go to the investor section on the website and download the pdf of the latest annual results. There are 2 important things you'll find here - there's also a lot of boring stuff to avoid!. Firstly, you can find the CEO's statement. This will give you plenty of information on where the company is going, major initiatives etc. The second is the profit and loss or income statement. I'm not suggesting you all turn into accountants overnight, however a simple calculator and 10 minutes of your time will give you some information on how fast the company is growing and whether its profitable.
You now have about as much information as you need to move to our final step.
Step 5: Developing Questions About the Company
Often, you'll be asked a question "what do you know about us"? Well, you now have the information to answer that one better than most. Towards the end of an interview, it's likely that you'll be asked the following "is there anything you'd like to ask us"? This is a real opportunity to stand out as you will have developed 3 or 4 possible questions from your research that you can now ask. The video will give you some examples of how we suggest you develop your questions.
Importantly, when its your turn to ask questions of the recruiter, I suggest you preface your questions with the following ..."When I was doing my research in preparation for this interview, I came across ...". This will make it obvious to the recruiter that you've done your homework.
Congratulations!! by following a few simple steps, you are now professionally prepared for your interview - much more so than the majority of the other candidates. Good luck!
If you feel that you need more help to succeed, check out www.mytalentplace.co.uk/career-advice/interview-skills. You can choose an online interview coach and really build your skills to stand out from the crowd.