How to Prepare for an Interview

Research the Organisation

Prior to arriving for your interview, set aside some time to research your prospective employer in detail.

Always ensure that you are familiar with the organisation’s business ethos, market placement, product range and possible international connections before making your way to the boardroom.

For example, if you are being interviewed for a financial management position at a listed organisation, access and become familiar with freely available fiscal information via the business website.

If the company is not listed, always ensure that you ask questions about their market share, competitor activity, recent hires, any retrenchments and any mergers or acquisitions recently or in the future.

In doing so, you will not only be well prepared for any formal questions but will also indicate that you are an organised and dependable individual.

“Having a robust understanding of the business before engaging in an interview is one of the most important factors in ensuring that you give off the right first impression.”

“Be sure to have a good understanding of where the business sits within the market and where its strengths lie, particularly if you are being interviewed for a senior position” comments Caz Pollock, Pollock & Associates Chief Executive Officer.

Prepare Questions

“During the interview, ask as many job-related questions as possible. This indicates to the interviewer that you are both keen and knowledgeable” comments Pollock.

Prior to arriving for your interview, spend some time penning a few questions relating to the job at hand, the skills required and the company background.

Not only will you gain a better understanding of the business, but you will also display genuine interest in the position.

These may also include questions such as:

Are there opportunities for career development and training and does the company have a policy for further study assistance?

Could you describe your corporate culture?

Have I correctly grasped the dynamics of the position and do you have any questions that concern my ability to perform this job?

What processes are in place to help me work collaboratively?

What is the company’s management style and expectations of me?

What are some of the goals of the group and/or projects in the coming year?

What challenges does the company face and what will be the biggest challenge that I face?

Dress for Success

As the saying goes, ‘first impressions last the longest’.

Always ensure that you dress for success when preparing for an interview. By appearing neat and presentable, you will ensure that you appear professional and trustworthy throughout the process.

Furthermore, always ensure that you speak clearly and concisely during the interview and have a notepad and pen on hand at all times!

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