Preparation is a crucial part of eliminating interview anxiety but what exactly should you be focussing on? Below we share 5 must-do’s prior to a job interview.

With 33% of hiring managers claiming they know within the first 90 seconds whether they would hire someone or not, it’s not surprising that job interviews can be stressful.

Preparation is a crucial part of eliminating interview anxiety but what exactly should you be focussing on? Below we share 5 must-do’s prior to a job interview.

1) Do your research

47% of interviewers say they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate who had little or no knowledge of the company. Make sure you take the time to research the company by looking on their website, social media pages and even doing a quick search for any news articles about them.

Also research your interviewer to see if you have any common ground you can mention as this will help to build rapport. Remember to keep it professional however. It’s perfectly acceptable to look at someone’s LinkedIn profile but if you admit to stalking your interviewer on Facebook, they’ll probably think it’s a bit strange.

2) Work on your confidence

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous before an interview and while employers are well aware of this, don’t let your nerves scupper your chances of getting the job. 40% of interviewers say that not smiling is a good enough reason for them to eliminate a candidate and 50% will discount someone based on the way they dressed, acted or walked through the door. What’s more, 65% of employers said that a lack of eye contact makes them reject candidates for a role.

The best way to calm your nerves is to prepare thoroughly. Go through the job spec and ensure you can match your skills and experience to the desired requirements. Practice interview questions and answers and ask someone to do some role play with you so you feel comfortable giving your answers out loud – it’s very different saying something to ourselves than it is to other people.

Another great tip is to travel to the office a day or two before the interview so you know exactly where you’re going. On the day, aim to get there 10 minutes early so you’re not flustered and panicking about being late.

3) Know what you bring to the table

Something that will really help to build your confidence is to truly understand how you can be an asset to the company. How can you help them solve problems? How will your skills compliment the team? What experience can you offer?

4) Prepare some examples

Interviewers love to hear examples that can help to back up your claims. Prepare some relevant, quantifiable accomplishments you can use to reinforce your skillset. There’s no point saying you’re a great sales person for example if you can’t provide evidence of this through targets you met or hopefully even beat.

5) Prepare your questions

At the end of every interview, you’ll always be asked if you have any questions. It’s never a good idea to say no but it can be hard to think on the spot when you’re nervous. Think of at least five questions you could ask just in case some of them get covered during the interview.

A potential employer wants to know you’re serious about the role and that you’re in it for the long-run so ask questions that reflect this.

Some great examples include:

  • What challenges am I likely to face in the first six months of the job?
  • Can you tell me more about the culture of the company?
  • Do you support progression within the company?
  • Do you offer personal and/or professional development?
  • What are the most important qualities needed to succeed in this role?
  • What are the biggest opportunities and/or challenges this department is facing right now?

If you would like help preparing for your next job interview, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Alpha. You can also join one of our half day or full day courses where we teach you everything you need to prepare for interviews including CV writing, LinkedIn support, interview techniques and what recruiters are looking for.