For some, the word interview can send shivers down the spine and rightly so. The interview can be a pretty terrifying activity for most people. The pressure to perform and impress is enough to put a lot of jobseekers off. Hopefully by now, you’re only involved in processes for roles that you’re genuinely interested in and this certainly helps eliminate that fear. The remedy is a simple one; prepare. If you prepare adequately there’s very little that can go hugely wrong come interview day. Of course, we can’t predict the kind of interviewer you’re going to get or the kind of mood they’ll be in on that day, but we can help you prepare in the best way possible:
Analyse the job description
You need to know this like the back of your hand. This is one of the most important aspects of interview preparation. How can you competently interview for a job if you don’t truly understand it? Analysing this properly allows you to prioritise what you’re saying and which areas of your expertise you should highlight and focus on. Make notes and write things down; this can really help you to take in information more effectively.
Compare your experience with the requirements of the brief
Again, best done if written down, go through all the key requirements on the job description and detail how you meet these. Write them down on cue cards and go over them until they’re ingrained! Remember that an interviewer is assessing your suitability for a role. If you don’t match any of the requirements you’re probably not going to progress further.
Gather your key achievements
It’s likely you’ll be asked for key achievements or for examples where you can back up certain aspects of your experience. Think of your achievements in the same way that you remember stories and situations. It’s important that you can reel these off with confidence and ease. There are a number of methods you can adopt to help you do this. We are a fan of the S.T.A.R method, but if you Google it, there are loads of ways to convey your successes in an interview situation. Remember this one:
Research the company
So many candidates forget to do this, or at least forget to do a thorough search. Finding out more about the company with which you are interviewing will give you a better understanding of the situation that you’re about to walk in to, as well as a good idea as to whether the company will be a good fit for someone like you. It is also impressive to the interviewer if it looks like you’ve done your homework and it gives you another dimension of conversation.
This is especially important if you have a presentation to do as part of the interview. Even if you don’t, practicing is the best way to increase your confidence in the run up to the big day. We recommend practicing on people whose advice and critique you trust, but also don’t be afraid to practice on your own. The more you do it, the more poised you’ll be in the interview and you’ll come across a hundred times better.
Prepare your outfit beforehand
This sounds silly, but it can come in extremely handy when it’s time to leave for your interview. How many times are you left rushing against the clock because you can’t find something to wear? Eliminate this potential last minute stress by having a suitable outfit ready and prepared in advance. Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready and travel to the interview. It’s always better to be half an hour early than to be even be one minute late. If you are half an hour early, go and grab a coffee though – there is also such thing as too early.
Make sure you have everything you need
If you’re required to bring things to your interview, prepare these beforehand. If you’ve got a presentation, print multiple hard copies. Bring additional print-outs of your CV for your interviewers and always have a copy of the job description in your bag. You can scan over the details whilst you wait to be seen. It’s also helpful to bring with you a list of questions for the interviewer, after all, an interview is a two-way discussion. Bringing a list with you can be really helpful as it's easy to forget these details in an interview scenario. It also conveys a level interest to the interviewer:
So there you go! Don't forget to try and keep calm. If you're all stressed out and flustered, you're not going to enjoy the experience and you'll probably come away feeling very disheartened. Don't forget to check out the wealth of careers advice we've got on our website. Whether you're happy in your current role or not, it's always good to keep an eye out for new marketing jobs; you never know when something might take your fancy. We also have a number of resources to help you understand marketing job titles and also figure out if it's time for you to leave your job. Enjoy!