Preparing for interviews

Preparing for an interview can take a long time, longer than the interview itself, but it’s worth it. It will give you confidence and plenty to talk about. Here are five main areas to research before a job interview.

1. The company

Researching the company is the easy part. No doubt they’ll have a website that you can read through. It’s also worth researching them and checking any news related to them. Not only will you be up-to-date with the public face of the organisation via their website, you’ll also know all the latest news which might be helpful.

2. The interviewer

If you’re not told initially who will be interviewing you then it is worth going back to them to find out – the more prepared you are the better. There may be a biography of the interviewers on the company website. By knowing more about the person or people interviewing you, you’ll be more comfortable going into interview. You’ll also know their background and what interests them. This can often help at interview if you have something in common with them. Or it may help you come up with some questions to ask at interview.

3. The job

Look thoroughly at the job specification that you’ve been given. For each point think of something you have done that is similar. Essentially, at this point you’re trying to prove you have the experience to do the job. Maybe it’s from outside of work – you’ll find plenty of examples from your DofE activities. If you find it difficult, ask for help from your parents or friends. The great thing about taking the time to prepare is that you can get an outside opinion.

4. The market

What is happening in the market? If the job or the course your applying for is in retail, then make sure you research what’s happening in the retail market. If you’re applying to banking then research finance. Law? Well, you get the picture. Whatever industry they’re in, they will want to know that you have an understanding and an interest in it. Be sure to read the newspapers, social media, online news stories and, above all, take a look at their competitors. By doing all of this, you won’t be thrown at the interview when they ask you about the future of the industry and any potential opportunities or threats.

5. Yourself

You might also be asked to prepare for a task or do some psychometric tests. Make sure you ask enough questions so that you know exactly what to expect beforehand.

Want some experience answering common interview questions and advice on how to improve your technique? Check out Barclays LifeSkills Virtual Interview Practice tool and feel more prepared and confident going for interviews.

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