Six Ways to Get Interview Ready

Six Ways to Get Interview Ready

Just like preparing for a sporting event, an interview requires preparation. You can’t simply head out onto that track and expect to not have warmed up or conducted pre-race training. An interview is no different. If it’s been awhile since your last one, you’ll be rusty and likely to cause an injury (or at least receive a “thanks but, no thanks”).

But, if you take the time to prepare for your next interview it will give you an advantage on your competition.

According to Alpha T Knowledge the reasons why job interview candidates are rejected is:

  1. Poor communication skills (25%)
  2. Lack of proper etiquette (24%)
  3. Lack of technical ability (19%)
  4. Not qualified (14%)
  5. No understanding of the organisation (10%)
  6. Other reasons (8%)


There is bucket loads of advice floating around the internet on how to prepare for an interview. So, i’m going to join the party with my top top tips on getting yourself interview ready. These are the ones I’ve used successfully for many years.

  1. Schedule interviews at times when you perform at your best: Are you a morning person or an evening person? If you are a morning person why would you accept a 6PM interview? If you are at your best in the afternoon, try to avoid early morning interviews. You can’t always pick and choose your interview time slot. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Likewise, it’s best to try and avoid lunchtime and Friday afternoon if you want your interviewer to be in the frame of mind.
  1. Complete mock interviews: Poor communication skills, verbal and nonverbal including not making eye contact, lack of smile, weak handshake, not listening to the interviewer, talking too much, and using inappropriate slang words or acronyms will see you rejected. Therefore you need to practice a mock interview with a friend, colleague, family member, or job search coach to iron out any weaknesses. Many people believe their communication skills are sufficient, but it’s not until you get honest feedback from a third party that you can really improve.

A good mock interview will be around 30 minutes plus time for feedback and should be as close to a real interview as possible. Snagajob have some great tips on how to conduct a mock interview properly in this video.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the company: Not understanding an organisation or inadequately researching a potential employer is really unacceptable these days. With the internet you have no reason not to spend 15 min or so doing some research. A common interview question is “what do you know about our company” so be prepared by undertaking the following research:
  • Visiting the company’s website, along with the about and careers page, LinkedIn profile
  • Google “press releases” followed by the company name ie: press releases apple for the most recent news stories
  • You should be knowledgeable on the types of products and services they sell, how long they have been in business and have an overview of their culture, values and mission statement.
  1. Review the job advertisement: This should form part of your overall job search administration and strategy. With each position you apply for, you should be keeping a copy of the job advertisement either digitally or hardcopy print. Along with this you should also have notes on the salary this position is paying or likely to pay. When you receive an interview, go back to the advertisement to refresh yourself about the position and use it to craft answers on questions for your mock interview and your questions for the interviewer.
  1. Decide on your reason why you want that job: A common interview question is “why do you want to work for us?” If you don’t have a decent connection to why you want that position you’ll convey that you are disinterested and unenthusiastic. If you have completed tip 3 and 4 then your reason for why you want to work for that company should be clear.
  1. Create your backstory: The number 1 interview question is “tell me about yourself”. On a personal note, it’s the #1 worst interview question an interviewer can ask, but that’s a different blog post. So if you want to set yourself apart from other candidates, then make sure you have your short pitch about your career history ready to go.

Using these six tips as a check list will get you started on the right foot and help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during the interview.

Lisa Mahar

Lisa Mahar is a Resume Writer and Job Search Coach. She is also the founder of Meritude Career Services, a company on which helps professionals master their job search. When she's not indulging in a new book or travelling, she's thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers.


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