What to Expect and How to Prepare for an Interview

seeking a new job

Interviews can be unpredictable. No matter what job role you’re going for, you never know what kinds of questions the interviewers have in mind. This unpredictability can make it challenging to prepare for an interview. How do you know where to start when it comes to your interview preparation? What resources should you use? How can you make the best impression possible on the interviewers?

It’s always exciting when you receive your invitation to interview offer. You celebrate briefly before the reality sets in and you realize that the true challenge has only just begun.

Passing the interview is the most difficult part of any job application but with the proper preparation, you can surpass the interviewers’ expectations and receive an offer for your dream job.

There are many different things that you can do to prepare for an upcoming interview. Taking a look at top job interview questions and answers, researching the company, and considering your interview attire are all key steps in the preparatory process.

Here are some key things to expect at your interview and our top interview preparation tips to help you excel and get the job that you want. 

Practice Common Interview Questions

When you have an upcoming interview, one of the best things that you can do to prepare is to practice answering the most common interview questions. Just a quick search online will pull up hundreds of commonly-asked questions that relate to each specific job role within an industry.

Take a look at these questions and plan out some answers. You can repeat these answers out loud or write them down on flashcards to cement them in your memory.

Before you head into the interview room, revise your answer to these common questions so that they are fresh in your mind. Even if you don’t regurgitate the exact answers that you have written down on your flashcards, you will be able to communicate the most important keywords and phrases in your answers.

Although interviewers will also ask their candidates to answer some company-specific questions, they are bound to ask one or two standard questions at the start of the interview.

So, preparing your answers to the most common interview questions can set you in good stead for the rest of the interview and help you to succeed.

Some of the most common interview questions include:

  • Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
  • What makes you a good fit for this role?
  • What aspect of this role interests you the most?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we consider hiring you?

Research the Company

You probably already know the basics of the company that you’re applying to work for based on the job application but this information is only superficial. It’s important to delve deeper into the organization to learn more about them before the interview.

Interviewers are keen on learning more about how much you know. They will ask questions about the business to see how much research you have completed. For example, they might ask you to name their core values or list a couple of their previous achievements.

To effectively research an employer, look through their website and social media accounts. Soak in all of the information that you can about the company so that you can incorporate these details into your answers during the interview.

If you have been told the name of the people who will be interviewing you, try and research more about them as well. Search their names on Google or LinkedIn to check out their accomplishments.

This process will also help to familiarize yourself with the interviewers before the big day, which can calm your nerves a little.

Ask Questions at the End of the Interview

Most of the time, interviewers provide their candidates with the opportunity to ask their own questions at the end of the interview. 

To highlight your interest, prepare some questions to ask the interviewers at the end of the interview. Displaying a genuine interest in the job role and the company is going to set you apart from other candidates. As a result, you’re more likely to receive the job offer that you desire.

Your questions can relate to the job role itself, such as the shift patterns or the main duties. Although, be careful not to come across as though you haven’t read the job description that was provided in the application form. You want the employer to see that you’ve done your research but you’re also keen to learn the finer details.

You can also enquire about potential opportunities for progression within the role or ask for details about the company culture. Think of things that you genuinely want to learn more about.

By preparing some of your own questions, you can avoid the awkward silence at the end of the interview and you can display your professionalism during the interview.

Plan Your Route and Arrive Early

One of the worst things that you can do at an interview is to arrive late. This gives the interviewer a bad first impression and sets a negative tone for the rest of the interview.

Arriving early shows the interviewers that you are organized and professional, two key skills that every job role requires. 

On the day of the interview, make sure to leave the house in good time to arrive at the interview destination at least 10 minutes early. You will need to plan your route so that you don’t take the wrong turn and get lost.

By arriving slightly early, you can spend some time running through your prepared answers before the interview. Arriving early also gives you the chance to take a few deep breaths and calm your nerves for when you are called into the interview room.