Paul Beaumont column: How to prepare for that all important job interview

editorial image

So you have landed an interview for that dream job.

Perhaps it’s a new role in the same company that you work in now, or a role with a new company or even a competitor to the company that you work for. In a world where it is not uncommon for 150 to 250 people to reply to an online job advert, if you get yourself an interview you have to do everything that you can to maximise your chances. The most common issue that potential employers cite when hiring is an obvious lack of preparation. Here are a few tips to help you land that dream role:

Understand the job: Read all the information that you have been sent on the role a number of times.

Review the job description and pay special attention to the skills and experience required; have examples demonstrating that you possess these.

Research the company: You would be amazed how many people turn up for an interview not knowing who the hiring company are, how big they are, who owns them or what their company culture is all about. All this information and much more will be available on their website.

Understand the product: You should have a good knowledge of the product or service’s that the company provides and you should understand their value proposition along with the pricing model that they employ, their customer base and what markets they sell in to and also their competitors and how they differentiate against them.

Prepare answers about your experience: You will be asked about your experience and what you can bring to the team. If you are a sales person you might be asked if you have done prospecting before – prepare to explain the prospecting process that you use and why it is successful; give examples. Salespeople, if you are asked about your closing ability, think of a deal that you won that you feel was exemplary and be prepared to explain the selling skills that you employed in order to win it.

Always ask questions: Come up with four to six questions about the role, the company’s products, and the company itself. Ask questions that you are genuinely interested in to help decide if the job is right for you as well. Don’t make the questions over complicated or clever just ask sensible, relevant questions.

Always ask what happens next: Always ask what selection process is, what the timescales are and if you will be progressing to the next step in the process based on today’s interview. If possible lock in a date and time for the next interview. This is very important if you are applying for a sales role.