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How to prepare for job interviews

Many people get super nervous when it comes to job interviews, regardless if it’s via video call or in person. Having worked with lots of clients in the career space, I wanted to share a few simple tips on how best to prepare for a job interview, regardless of the type of job you’re applying for. 

2020 has been a bit of a strange year to say the least. Here in Australia a few industries got hit especially hard because of the virus and many people sadly lost their jobs. As I write this, it seems the job market is kicking off again (here in Melbourne at least) and I’ve had a few questions from a range of people who wanted tips and support in preparing for job interviews. 

I recently launched a short online coaching course specifically for job interview preparation. If you’re looking for some support around career transitions more generally, you can also check out my online coaching program here

Now, let’s look at job interviews! 

Regardless what your circumstances are, or how long since you last had an interview, it’s absolutely normal to feel nervous. Even if you are very excited about the opportunity, it’s OK to feel nervous and anxious too. 

  1. You deserve to be here! Before you prepare anything else, remember that you have already passed through the first gate by being called to an interview. They have looked at your CV and skills and deemed you interesting to chat to about this role. Acknowledge yourself for getting this far regardless how the interview itself goes. Minimising yourself or telling yourself that “I won’t get the role anyway, I’m sure there are many more capable than me” is not going to do you any favours. Believe in yourself and allow yourself to do your very best when you meet with them.
  2. Do your research on the role and the company. Make sure that you have thoroughly read the role description and read up on the company. I recommend taking notes in bullet point format (no need to write an essay here!) and prepare some answers/examples of the specific skills they are asking for in the role description. If you’re fairly new to the job market/country, remember that your examples can come from past roles, volunteering opportunities and life experience in general.

    It’s important that you can talk about the main things they look for in the role and also demonstrate that you have bothered learning more about their company and any recent developments for them (a quick Google search for recent news articles/awards etc can help you with this). 

  3. Get to know them. An interview is a bit like a first date and it’s certainly not one sided! Even if the interviewers are sitting all lined up on the other side of the table and it feels like a cross examination, it is still a ‘date’ for them to check you out and for you to check them out. Prepare some questions (I’ll share my favourite ones in the online course that I’m releasing soon) and make sure you have an opportunity to get to know what your new manager (they would often sit in on the interview) and the team are like. Even if you really want this job, we all have non-negotiable things that we need to listen to. If you get a really bad gut feeling about the manager or how they talk about the role/the business, make sure you listen to that! Most of us have been desperate for a job at some point in our life and pushed those warning signals aside. Sometimes we can’t afford to be picky, but it can be a painful lesson when we don’t listen to the power of true ‘gut feeling’. 

In the video below I cover these key tips in a bit more detail!