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Interview preparation

Interviews can be extremely daunting, especially if it’s your first.  You are going to feel nervous and under pressure, but don’t worry everyone feels the same.  However, there are ways of reducing the nerves.

In a nutshell – research, prepare, research, prepare, research!

You can research things like last year’s profits, products, product ranges, the number of locations, stance on ethics and carbon neutrality etc.  There is nothing worse than a really brilliant candidate with good confidence and a great CV that knows nothing about the company.  It can really put recruiters off, and quickly!  So where to start…

Online research

Google and other search engines are extremely powerful tools.  But don’t be put off if you can’t find the information you want straight away.  Try different keywords, try searching to find out if a company has an owner, and then search for information about them.  For example, B&Q is owned by a company called Kingfisher.

The company website is obviously the best place to start.  You may find information easily, or you may need to dig around, looking in obscure places.  Keep an eye out for ‘corporate’ or ‘investor’ pages or sections of sites.  These should have more business related information and can sometimes have histories and staff biographies which will give a lot of information.

Industry sources

Information about the company is great, however, you will also need information about the industry sector as a whole.  Knowing about competitors both local and globally (if applicable) is always an impressive thing to know.

A great source of information is industry publications.  Almost every industry will have at least one magazine or community website where editorial pieces are written about different companies, locations, products, services and more.

Preparing yourself

This is the most important bit.  You need to feel ready.  Being nervous is OK, but if you don’t feel like you’re prepared it will make things worse.  Do you genuinely feel like you have done enough preparation?

If you find it hard to know, ask family or friends to run through some details with you, especially if there are some statistics you would like to remember.

Fake interview – Ask someone to help you by giving you a fake interview to run through some questions that you don’t know are coming.  This person could probably start with some basic questions they find in a quick online search.

Time and place – Double and triple check the time, date and place of the interview.  The company will tell you where to go, but if it’s not clear, ask.  Here at i2i Recruitment, we will make sure you know where you are going.  Some people find it helpful to do a dummy run to the location of the interview to know where it is and how to get there.

Toilet – Use the toilet.  Needing the toilet when nervous makes it feel much worse.  It’s just a little thing to remember, but it could really help settle you.

Stuff – Don’t take too much stuff to the interview.  The last thing you want to do it turn up with a backpack full of stuff that isn’t relevant for the interview.  Leave as much as possible at home, in your car or with reception.

Certificates – If you are required or asked to prove qualifications, get them ready the day before.  This will stop you running around in the morning or before the interview worrying and stressing you out.  Anything to help you remain calm and focus on the interview itself.

Clothes – This is one of the questions people ask us the most, “what do I wear?”  This is an easy one; always plan to dress smart.  It’s always best to dress too smart than not smart enough.  Some companies will say smart-casual, especially if they have a dress-down Friday.  However, we would advise to always dress smarter than what is required.  This is because your and their sense of smart-casual could be very different.

 

Good luck!  Here at i2i Recruitment, we can help you prepare for interviews that we help you find.  We can also help with your CV.  Have a look through the jobs we have available today (here) and see if there are any that really appeal to you.