Prep & Prosper: You’ve Scored An Interview, Now What?

You’re in the middle of preparing spaghetti, sweat dripping down your face because of how hot the kitchen is. Suddenly you hear it! DRING! Next, you head to the phone, open the email and almost expect to see “We regret to tell you…” But wait, your screen shows something else. You are actually invited to an interview! You begin your happy dance. It’s all over. All you have to do is go for the interview, right? Wrong.  Here’s how to prepare for your dream job interview and make the best first impression.

First thing’s First, Do Some Research

Use the internet to look for articles, reviews and the company’s website to find out as much as you can about the company. Look out for juicy scandals as well as noteworthy achievements. Have they ever had financial troubles? How long have they been in business? Understand the company’s core values. What is their mission or vision? Will this company cater to your career goals? How well do they rank for job satisfaction? There’s more to a company than meets the eye. What career advancement opportunities do they offer? If there is limited information, ask others in the same industry. Make friends with former employees or even present employees. Just have enough information in your arsenal.

A Little Extra Never Hurts

Print out many copies of your CV. Interview comes in different formats. Sometimes you will be interviewed by just one person. Other times, you’ll be interviewed by a group of staff members. It is also possible to be interviewed in a group of fellow job applicants. It is best to  have enough copies to distribute to as many people as possible. It is also best to have a copy for reference’s sake.

Get Your Look Right

Yes, there’s a saying that goes, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but let’s be real , you’re going to get addressed according to how you’re dressed. Picking the right outfit for an interview can do wonders in sending the right kind of message about what type of candidate you are, and what type of employee you’re likely to be. Creative jobs tend to get tricky. You’re thinking, “Suit and tie? But won’t that be over the top?”. This may be true in some cases, so its wise to do some more research. Perhaps look through the Instagram page of your prospective employers. What’s the dress code of the employees? What kind of vibe does the brand give off? Afterall you’re trying to communicate that you’re bringing value to the table, but also willing to embrace the company culture. However, when in doubt, suit up. It’s better to be overdressed than under.

Get the Details and Map it Out

Okay, now you’re almost done, but before you pack it in, do you even know where this interview’s gonna be? It’s common place that when you finally get that interview from your dream company, you’re so ecstatic you forget even some of the most obvious of things. Read the email again , at least twice or three times. This way you’re sure you don’t miss out on any important details.You’ll also want to make sure you get the venue right. Plug it into Google maps, or ask a friend you feel is more familiar with town on the best way to get to the destination if the maps don’t work.

Don’t Lose Sleep

Last but not least, get a good night’s rest before the day. You’ll need to be on your best game when you head into the interview room. There’s nothing that will kill your chances more than lack of sleep. You’ll be slow, cranky and inattentive to details. If you never get the recommended 8 hours of sleep , the night before your interview is the night you break that habit. As much as your interviewer is paying attention to your responses, they’re also keen on your body language which can be greatly affected if you’re tired.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Sometimes the difference between scoring your dream job or not is as simple as this. If you go by the words above you’re sure to put yourself at the highest percentile of those in the running for that coveted position. You’ve already gotten your foot in the door. Don’t let the minor details get you closed out.

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Incase you missed our last Prep & Prosper, click here. Catch up with the Prep & Prosper series every Monday.

Words Aanu Ayoleke and Deji Haastrup