How to prepare for an interview

How to prepare for an interview

11 Oct 2021

CPD News Team

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First thing’s first, if you’re reading this, our guess is you’ve got yourself an interview - congratulations! Now that you’ve given yourself a pat on the back, you’ll need to start thinking about preparing for the day. Much of the outcome will depend on the questions they ask you and how you’re feeling at the time, but there are certain things you can prepare yourself for to give yourself a better chance of successfully landing the job!

Help on how to prepare for an interview

Here are a few interview preparation tips to help you get ready and feel confident for the day.  

Interview Preparation - Do your research

This one may sound obvious, but believe it or not there are people out there who turn up to interviews not knowing what the employer/company does. Not fully understanding is ok, you can clarify that in your interview and bring it up as a question, but you should have done some fact-finding.

It doesn’t have to be hugely in-depth research. Still, a general understanding of the business, their goals, ethos and an overview of the role that you’re going for will show you’re interested and already willing to do your research. A lot of this information can be found on their website (if they have one) and the job description. If you get the chance, it’s always helpful to look at a couple of their competitors too to better understand the broader market and where they sit in the industry. 

Have a general understanding of the industry

Following our last point, a general understanding of the industry you want to go into is beneficial. If ten other candidates are going for the same role, this will potentially set you apart from the rest, as it shows that you’ve been keen enough to learn the trade and do a bit of self-study. After all, if you’re serious about this career, you’re potentially going to be in it for a long time, and you’ll want to know whether it’s definitely for you - some prior research will help you with that.

 A great way to get a taste of the industry is to do a course/workshop or two to get you up to speed and give you a more in-depth understanding of what’s to come. At The CPD Certification Service, we host various online courses on behalf of our CPD providers, in all areas, which you can complete at home. You can search for the area you’re looking to go into by using the search function on the website.

Prepare for potential questions

Not that we’re suggesting you know every question that’s going to be asked, but some typical interview questions pop up more regularly and, by looking at the skills in the job description, you can often gauge what might crop up. Such as; 

  • ‘Why do you want to work here?’
  • ‘Why do you think you’d be good at this particular role?’
  • ‘Tell us a bit about your previous work experience?’
  • ‘Give us an example of when you’ve done [requirement from the job description] before?’ 

Jot down a couple of bullet points as to how you’d answer each question in a way that will help you on the day. If you’re better at spontaneously answering questions, rather than preparing what to say, having these questions in the back of your mind will at least give you something to think about beforehand, rather than it being a shock on the day.

How to prepare for an interview

Prepare some questions of your own for the interview

We know; they’re the ones interviewing you, right? Right, but also wrong. This is your opportunity to interview them and find out whether this job is right for you. The last thing you want is to go through all of this effort in the job interview, get the job and then realise it’s not quite what you thought it would be. Sometimes, this can’t be helped, but you can often get a feel for whether this is the path for you by asking questions during the initial stages.

Asking your own questions is also a great way to impress your interviewer, as it lets them know that you’re passionate and interested in the role.

Don’t be afraid to write down your answers in a notebook or on your laptop and refer to them during your interview. You’re remembering a lot of information when you walk into that room, so having something to refer back to is helpful and, again, shows you’ve done your prep.

Research your journey

This may sound like an odd one, but if your interview is in a location that you’re unfamiliar with, you may want to do a quick test run beforehand. This will eliminate the risk of arriving late and potentially compromising your interview for the sake of a bit of planning. If you’ve got to use public transport or jump in the car and drive, make sure you know exactly where you’re going and what time you need to catch the train or bus.

Plus, this is also a great opportunity to check that you’re happy with the commute. If you’re based on-site or in the office, you will be making this journey every day, so you need to be comfortable with it.

Finally, don’t be nervous! We know that’s easier said than done, but if you know your stuff and you’re passionate about the role, then you’ve got as good a chance as any.

We hope this article on How to prepare for an interview was helpful. For more information please visit the CPD Industry Hubs to find CPD providers, courses and events relevant for your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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