Breda Hegarty is a Career Counsellor based in Dublin, with expertise in providing career guidance for adults.
Preparing for an Interview
Know the role;
Read the advertisement many times to be familiar with what the employer is looking for. Be familiar with the vocabulary of the position. Reading through the advertisement will also give you an idea of the questions you might be asked and the areas of your C.V. that you should highlight.
Know the company;
Know three things about the company. Provide facts, figures or statistics. Saying things like, your company is one of the best and a great place to work lets the employer know that you have not done your research and you are waffling. Check through their social media channels for their latest news and achievements, find out about their Corporate Social Responsibility and know their mission, vision and values. Researching the company and having key information will show this employer your interest and eagerness for the role.
Know your C.V.
Know every detail of your C.V. Be prepared to talk the employer through your C.V. Employers may have not had a long time to look at our C.V. It is up to you to know every section of your experience and relay it to the employer in a passionate way.
Identify what you do best
Identify 3 achievements that you are really proud of i.e. improvements you made, targets or deadlines achieved etc. and make sure to work these examples into the interview.
Prepare for the worst
Think about what you least would like to get asked and prepare for that. That is the best way to settle nerves before an interview as you know that even if they ask you a sticky question you will be ready. Be ready to explain gap years and change of career. If there is an area of the role that you are not familiar with be ready to show how you dealt with unknown areas in previous roles and triumphed.
Prepare your answers
Interview questions are nearly always similar, research the most popular interview questions and prepare your answers for these.
Prepare your examples
Always give specific examples in the interview this will show the employer what you will be able to do in their company. Pick different examples showing your competencies i.e. communication, organisational, planning, prioritisation, time management, teamwork, conflict management, decision making, problem solving and coping under pressure. Make sure your example is detailed e.g . when I worked as a hairdresser with Peter Marks I was responsible for…………. and make sure it has a good start middle and an end. When giving an example it is really important to use the star technique. Mention the situation, task, action and result. Spend most of the answer on the action as this will hold the most important information for the employer.
Know what you are going to wear
Get your clothes ready before the interview, know what you are going to wear and hang them up, make sure that they are clean and ironed and that shoes are polished.
Plan your route
Find out where the interview is going to be. It is so important to be on time for the interview. Ideally you should be there 15 mins in advance, anything earlier than that is a bit too early and can be awkward for the employer anything later than that is late!. Plan the route know which bus or train to take or how long it will take to walk there. It is really good to do a dummy run of the journey in advance, to know exactly how long it will take.
Know what you are going to ask at the end of the interview
Have two questions prepared that again show you have done your research and you are really interested in the role. This is your last opportunity to make a really good impression and make sure that you use it wisely.
Good luck and keep reminding yourself that they called you for interview so they believe you can do the job.
Breda Hegarty- A qualified and compassionate career counsellor.
Breda Hegarty is a fully qualified career guidance counsellor based in Dublin. Breda has been providing expert career counselling and guidance for 15 years, supporting adults to choose the right career and identify their skills. Her expertise is in the area of successful CV and cover letter writing, career planning and interview preparation.