How to ace your job interview with five star preparation

Why don’t some people treat job interviews like the formal business meetings that they are? Getting a job and the interview preparation that goes with it requires a professional approach – because perfect preparation prevents poor performance!

Think of it this way. You’re heading to a business meeting – so you prepare beforehand, right? Managing a project? Then pre-empting with groundwork is what’s needed. And if you’re an HR or Recruitment Manager who’s talent hunting, then familiarising yourself with the talent pool is a must. You get the gist.

So, in the first of several blog posts specifically focusing upon interview preparation, here’s a guide to the type the organisational research and preparation you should be undertaking pre-interview.

Organisational research can take on many forms – the more the merrier. Everything from worldwide offices to the number of employees and organisational structure should all be in the mix.  But before you get started, here’s some food for thought to help you serve up research that will really make you stand out from the competition.


The first ingredient

Remember enthusiasm. OK, enthusiasm by itself will never trump research. But research without enthusiasm is totes unpalatable. Think of it this way - who would YOU give a job to? Take two equally qualified candidates. Both have thoroughly researched beforehand. The first arrives with a forkful of enthusiasm, while the second arrives with an abundance of enthusiasm? No competition!

The HR bit: Demonstrate your appetite for the job opportunity on offer and you’ll have your interviewers eating out of your hand. In addition to reminding your interviewer that your skills and experience match the requirements of the job, show your enthusiasm by reiterating at the end of the interview that you are super keen on the opportunity - and how happy you would be in the role.


Understand the market

Shop around! Understand who else in the market is occupying a similar space. Who’s the competition? What risk do they pose to your future employers?

The HR bit: Breadth and depth here is key. Companies want employees who can help them do it better and outmaneuver the competition – so understanding the competition helps you to sell yourself as an asset rather than a liability.


Know your onions

Have an opinion on what you think your future employers could be doing better, or differently, to perform more successfully.

The HR bit: Organiations want employees who can constructively challenge the status quo and deliver progress in today’s fast changing world. Have suggestions about new markets a company could enter, or ideas for improving existing products or services or introducing new ones.


Make it fruity

Your research should be fresh and juicy, not stale. Unless it was big news, who care’s what happened two years ago - that’s fish and chip paper. Be ready to discuss something super contemporary or something that’s in the pipeline.

The HR bit: Have an opinion on the research that you have undertaken - don’t just research and repeat. This shows you are a reflective thinker who’s taken time to consider how your addition to the company could be of tactical advantage.


Serve a hearty portion

Lightweight chat evaporates quickly. Your research should be topical and able to generate a chunky conversation. Establish “where, when, what, who and why” when researching organisational information. Leave your interviewer full, not hoping for seconds.

The HR bit. The art of communication is central to interpersonal skills, which in turn are the key to negotiating, problem solving and developing and managing successful working relationships. Communicate well at interview and you demonstrate and showcase a capacity for all of these desirable competencies.

Finally, remember that too many cooks don’t spoil the broth. You can’t do too much preparation. And, if you have an appetite for more, here’s the proverbial cherry that you can put on the cake: Interview preparation services from Clear Cut Selection will leave you deliciously sorted with the right skills to serve up an all star performance at your job interview.