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Finding a Job

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Preparing for an interview

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Whether it was an application form or a CV you submitted, you've obviously got it spot on if you've been offered an interview. Well done, first hurdle complete!

The next step is preparing for the interview, which if you do well should help you to feel more confident, less stressed and show yourself in the best light possible to the interviewer.

Remember that a job interview is a two-way discussion between you and an employer – it helps the employer find out more about you so that they can decide if you would be a good candidate for the job, but also gives you the opportunity to find out more about the company and its employees, products and services.

Preparation in a nutshell

The main things you should concentrate on include:

Interview types

You should find out from the company what kind of interview you will have so that you have an idea of what it will be like.

A competency-based interview is structured around the competencies required for the particular job and these are usually outlined in the job description or specification. The questions are usually based around situations; for example, the interviewer might ask 'Can you give me an example of a time you worked in a team?'

A standard interview may have similar questions to a competency-based interview, but the interviewer may ask more open, informal questions, for example 'What are your strengths?'

Our articles Competency-based interviews and Standard interview questions will help you to understand the difference and what you can expect. You can also read our Competency-based interview question examples document at the end of this article.

The company

Interviewers will expect you to know about the company, such as what they do, the different departments they have and how many people they employ. 

The amount and type of information you find will probably depend on the size and scope (local, national or international) of the company. You can try searching:

By doing some independent research it shows the interviewer that you are keen and can use your initiative.

The job

Obviously you know what role you have applied for, but take some time to have a thorough read through the job description, person specification (if one was supplied in the application pack) and any other information you received from the company.

Before the interview you should have a good understanding of:

You and the interview

Using the research you have done on the company and job, you should now think about what your skills and qualities are, how they make you suitable for the job and what kind of questions you might be asked. Get started by:

Remember

It is a good idea to:

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Competency-based interview question examples
Qualities Words
Skills Words
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