Confidence comes from being prepared.
Well done! You took the time and effort to create a well-presented CV, and now your skills, experience and work history have won you an interview.
Of course, most of us hope to shine in an interview, sometimes feeling a mixture of emotions like excitement and a little apprehension about making a good impression. You’ll want to create a confident professional impression on the interviewer despite the butterflies you might be feeling inside.
Here are 5 things you can do to prepare before your interview so you’ll sail through calmly and confidently.
1. Research the company
Always research the company. Go to their website and read about the founders, company portfolio, clients, competitors, company vision and any other information you can find. This helps you better understand the company, its culture and helps you see how you can contribute to the business success. It also makes a good impression on the interviewer when a candidate shows interest in the company.
2. Prepare a list of questions
After doing research start compiling a shortlist of questions you would want to ask about the company. Make sure the questions are intelligent and relevant to the company and the job you are applying for. At the interview raise some of the questions. This helps you to engage with confidence and shows your interest in the company. Share some of your thoughts and ideas about how you would tackle any challenges and improve job efficiency.
3. Know the job description and cross-reference
Make sure you are well versed in understanding the job description. Cross-reference the position requirements with your previous work experience, highlight the skills you have which match those required and think of examples as to how you can apply them to the prospective job.
4. Plan what you are wearing
Researching the company you hope to work for will give you a good idea of their corporate culture. Creative companies like agencies may favour a more casual dress code and you would need to dress accordingly. If in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to opt for a professional look and dress up for the position you are applying for. Read more on how to dress for an interview here. Make sure your clothes are ironed, clean and well fitted. It is a good idea to dress professionally from head to toe even if the interview is a video interview. Being dressed professionally helps to build confidence.
5. Plan your trip to ensure you are on time
In an ideal world, unfortunate ‘fender benders’ do not happen when you’re hurrying to an interview. Nor do traffic cops who flag you down to carry out random (and painfully slow) roadblocks. Transport systems break down, fail to arrive at all or run twenty minutes behind schedule. Finding yourself running late, getting upset and frazzled will put you on the back foot. Before you leave, keep in mind the weather, traffic, and any potential accidents that could happen on the way. Google the location of the company and make sure that you build in enough time to get to the interview.
Get your tech ready should it be a video interview
In the same way, traffic issues can leave you frazzled, tech issues can also impact your performance in an interview. Ensure that your laptop and phone is fully charged in case of unscheduled load-shedding. It is a good idea to have enough data on your phone should the wifi cut out. Test the platform, Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, beforehand to know that your computer supports it. Read more on how to conduct a successful video interview.
The art of arriving for an interview looking cool, calm, smart and confident is quite simply a question of being well prepared. The result is well worth the time and effort.
Good luck with the interview! We are rooting for you.
"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe.
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