How can I prepare for interviews?
Interviews are critical milestones on your professional journey, whether you're pursuing a defined job opening or exploring speculative opportunities. Effective interview preparation is the key to showcasing your skills, experience, and enthusiasm to potential employers. In this guide, we'll walk you through strategies to excel in both open role interviews and speculative interviews where job descriptions are not provided.
- Research the company: understand the organisation's ethos
Researching the company is fundamental for all types of interviews. Study their mission, values, recent achievements, and corporate culture. This knowledge demonstrates your genuine interest and helps align your responses.
- Understand the role: tailor your approach
For open roles, meticulously study the job description, responsibilities, and qualifications. Tailor your responses to showcase your alignment with these requirements. In speculative interviews, focus on your transferable skills that can benefit the company in various capacities.
- Prepare your answers: craft impactful responses.
Compile responses for common interview questions. Highlight your accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. In open role interviews, align your answers with the job description. In speculative interviews, emphasise adaptable skills applicable to multiple roles.
- Research the interviewers: foster connections
For both open roles and speculative interviews, gather information about the interviewers. Investigate their backgrounds, roles, and contributions. This knowledge can help you establish rapport and tailor your responses to their expertise.
- Prepare thoughtful questions: showcase your interest
Inquire about the company's goals, industry trends, and team dynamics. In open role interviews, inquire about specific responsibilities. In speculative interviews, focus on the company's future plans and how your skills could contribute.
- Practice, practice, practice: hone your skills
Practice your responses with mock interviews. Work on body language, tone, and concise delivery. Adapt your answers to highlight different facets of your experience for open roles and speculative opportunities.
- Prepare to present yourself positively
Choose professional attire suitable for the company's culture and the industry. Dress slightly more formal if unsure. A polished appearance signifies respect and professionalism. For virtual interviews, think about what the interviewer will be able to see in the background - no piles of dirty laundry, and beds should be avoided where possible.
- Plan logistics: set the stage.
For in person interviews, know the interview location and plan your route. For virtual interviews, make sure you will be able to take the call from somewhere quiet with good wifi. Test technology so you know you will be able to join the call without any issues. Get links loaded up ready to share if needed.
Both open role interviews and speculative interviews offer chances to shine. Tailor your approach to the context, showcasing your skills and passion. Remember, each interview is a unique opportunity to demonstrate your potential, even when job descriptions are undefined.