When you’re thinking about getting ready for an interview – whether it’s on video (Teams/ Zoom) or face-to-face – it’s crucial that you prepare.

You need to make sure that you come across in an authentic manner, so it’s not necessary to rehearse all the answers as you really want to establish a genuine connection with the interviewer. The best way of doing this is to build that rapport in a two- or three-way conversation. And this can be achieved if you practise and feel comfortable and confident with what you’ve done in your past and where you’d like to go in the future. Even if you don’t know the exact direction you wish to take, just to be able to speak with confidence about it is a huge plus.

When businesses are deciding whether they should recruit you, they’ll usually be thinking three things:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you fit into the team?
  3. Will you stay?

In the same way, you’ll probably be asking yourself three questions:

  1. Can I see myself doing the job?
  2. Will I enjoy working with them?
  3. Do I see myself staying long term?

So if you have an interview lined up, where do you start?
Well, a good place to start is by researching the company’s website as this will give you an insight into who they are and what they do. From there, you can ensure that you have a good idea of the role they are looking to fill and the skills that are required. This will enable you to highlight the key areas in which you’ve done something similar in your previous roles. It’s worth noting these down to make sure you don’t overlook them in the interview.

Some typical interview questions that may arise and that you should prepare for include the following:

  • What do you know about us?
  • Why would you like to work for us?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you a good fit for this job?

The interviewer may ask all, some or none of these questions, but it’s helpful to give some thought as to how you’d answer them if they did crop up.

‘Can you tell me more about yourself?’ is a tricky question that may well be asked, so it’s a good idea to think of a few answers to this one. They won’t be looking for War and Peace, as they’ll be keen to get a snapshot overview of who you are, what you’ve done and where you see yourself heading.

It’s also helpful to have prepared some questions to ask the interviewer, and this order can work well:

  1. About the role
  2. About the company
  3. About you

By doing this you’re demonstrating three things:

  • Interest in doing the job – asking questions that relate to the role, the team and the day-to-day tasks you’d be undertaking enables you to build a good idea of what the role will look like
  • Interest in working for them
  • The possibility of long-term opportunities

If it’s a virtual interview, always dress as though you’re attending a formal face-to-face interview. It really does make a huge difference not just to the employer that you’ll be meeting but also to yourself and how you’ll feel about the way you’re representing yourself. Don’t avoid eye contact – make sure that you’re looking straight at the camera and responding to the interviewer directly. It’s common to have your camera on a separate device, but you risk losing that ‘face-to-face’ connection if it’s not facing the right way. It’s also helpful to make sure that you have sufficient lighting and – ideally – a clutter-free backdrop or even a virtual background.

To boost your confidence even further, why not do a dummy run with a friend or relative so they can provide some constructive feedback? It’ll also allow you to become more familiar with the medium.

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket. If you’re looking for your next career move and would welcome the assistance of an experienced recruiter team, please contact us for an initial conversation.