Know your CV, inside and out. Know everything there is to know about you. If someone asks you what you did at a job between a set of given dates- your verbal answer must match up with what you have on your CV. We once had a person in for an interview who put on his CV that he went to Oxford University; obviously the interviewer was keen to ask more about this but under the pressure of a simple question the truth came out that he attended Oxford Brookes instead. Nothing wrong with Oxford Brookes, but there is a lot wrong with lying on your CV. He didn’t get the job.
THE COMPANIES CULTURE OR MISSION STATEMENT
Understanding, or at least showing that you have tried to understand the companies culture, their ethos, what they are about is a good start to any interview. So many candidates are asked the dreaded question “So what do you know about Joe Bloggs Incorporated?” and the response is often “Oh you do this, you are this big and you started in 2002.” It’s all true, and it shows you’ve researched into the company. But a response along the lines of “I understand that you encourage your employees to be entrepreneurial and that you often hold meetings about ideas and how you can move forward with this. I also understand that you’re 3 core values are x y z. I saw the pictures of the charity work you guys did, and I am all for giving back to the community- that’s a part of Joe Bloggs Incorporated that I really like.” A lot of this can be found by looking at the company and employee social media profiles.
THE JOB DESCRIPTION
Making sure that you are fully aware of the duties and responsibilities involved in the role is crucial. If you have never had any experience with Microsoft Excel and this role has a lot of work with Microsoft Excel- something to bring up in the interview is that you feel you need more training with Microsoft Excel and that you are attempting to learn at home so that you are better equipped for the role. Also if the role means that you need to work until 7pm every night and that’s not viable for you- there is no point in wasting the interviewer’s time and your own time. Likewise if the interviewer asks “What’s your understanding of the role?” and you choke or don’t know how to answer, it shows the role is not right for you and that you are not right for the role.
THE WEATHER REPORT
If you have an interview for 3pm and its gorgeous sunshine that morning you should know that weather is an odd creature and you shouldn’t trust it. Always check the weather forecast. If it’s going to be pouring down with rain make sure you bring an umbrella, likewise if it’s set to be scorching hot make sure you take some deodorant and a bottle of water. Being prepared is key in any role, and making sure that the weather doesn’t affect your interview or the way you present yourself is critical to you getting that job.
Check the train times! All companies that are interviewing candidates cannot express enough how annoying it is for an interview to be late. It is rude, it is disrespectful and a big slap in the face to your interviewer. There is no excuse for being late. That interviewer will always have “the guy that was late” in the back of his head. If you are meant to be meeting clients, how can they know that you will be on time? If you are supposed to call someone at a certain time, how can they know you will deliver? Things happen, and you couldn’t expect that a dog would run onto the rail tracks and cause a 30 minute delay. But for the purpose of being 30 minutes early and practicing your interview technique in a coffee shop nearby- I think I know which one I would rather choose.
DO YOUR LOCATION RESEARCH
Make sure you know exactly where you are going. If you don’t you run the risk of being late, turning up flustered and just appearing unprofessional. Google map the postcode before you go, call up and ask what the best way to get to their office is. Don’t wing it and expect you will just find your way because you might not! “I got lost and couldn’t find you.” Is a poor excuse and any reputable employer will not be impressed.
Written by Maya Gardiner, Montash Internal Communications