Interviews are a crucial part of the recruitment process as they provide an opportunity for you to show that you are the right person for the job. Interviews make even the best of us nervous. However, the more prepared you are, the better you will perform.
Following the steps in this interview checklist will help you prepare and remain calm before, during and after your interview.
The first step in preparing for a job interview is research. You must have a substantial understanding of the company before your interview, so you can make a great first impression.
Some key things to research include:
- The person who is interviewing you. You can find this information on their LinkedIn or company’s website.
- The company’s history. Look at the company’s ‘about us’ section on their website and learn their story.
- The company’s purpose. Look on the company's website for its mission statement. Their mission statement will tell you why they exist and what their overall goal is.
- The position you are interviewing for. Re-read the job listing and highlight key points such as the skills and required experience.
Tip: First impressions are key and being prepared will ease your nerves and ensure you can think quickly on your feet.
2. Practice interview questions:
You will be asked many questions in your interview and you must practice how you are going to answer them.
Some questions to prepare answers to before your interview include:
- Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
- Why should we hire you?
- What can you bring to the team?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tip: Reference key points in the job listing in your answers. This will show the employer you understand what they are looking for and you’re qualified for the job.
3. Wear interview attire
Always wear professional attire to a job interview. Nothing says ‘hire me’ more than someone putting in the extra effort to look nice and presentable. Ensure all clothing is conservative, clean, and ironed.
Hygiene is also very important when preparing for a job interview. We recommend hair be groomed, deodorant used, and no overbearing cologne or perfume worn. You don’t want to distract the employer with a strong, overbearing smell.
4. Come prepared:
You won’t know how many people will be present during your interview, so it’s always good to come prepared. We recommend preparing for 3 people to be in attendance.
This means printing off and bringing a minimum of 3 copies of your resume, any written references and a portfolio of your work (if applicable) to every interview. You never know who may be in attendance and being prepared will go a long way.
Tip: Ensure your phone is on silent and tucked away during your interview. If you need to take notes, do it with a notebook and pen.
5. Be on Time
The appropriate time frame to arrive at an interview is 10-15 minutes before the designated time.
As this might be your first time commuting to this destination, we recommend researching and planning your route well before the job interview. It might be a good idea to do a practice run before the big day; especially if your interview is first thing in the morning. This will ease your mind in the morning and ensure you arrive on time.
6. Focus on your body language
Effective body language can communicate a positive message to your interviewer. Make sure you focus on your posture, eye contact and arm gestures.
Posture: When seated, ensure you’re comfortable and your back is up straight against the chair. A slouched position shows your interview you are bored and not interested.
Eye contact: Eye contact indicates you are actively listening and paying attention.
Arm gestures: The way you position your arms says a lot about how you feel. Make sure your arms are relaxed and to the sides of your body. Having your arms crossed over your chest is a universal gesture that shows you are defensive, closed off or uncomfortable.
7. Say thank you
Make sure you thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.
8. Follow up
Send a follow-up email/text message the next day. A great question to ask post-interview is, “Do you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything I said or that you read in my resume?” This will show the employer you’re interested and enthusiastic about the job.