4 Things You NEED to Do Before an Interview

Interview preparations. We’ve all undoubtedly heard that doing research is important, preparing answers for ‘tell me about a time when you…’ questions and memorizing 5 key facts about the company you’re interviewing for.

But here’s some crucial steps that will make you a strong candidate BEFORE the interview.


1) A clean format in your CV

No crazy fonts, no big paragraphs and no weird colours. Keep the font colour black, choose a reader-friendly font and describe your responsibilities and duties in clear bullet points.

Anything more makes it difficult to read, something that you will have to pay for if an employer cannot find the key points of your CV in 2 minutes.

Essentially, less is more; white space will make your CV easily readable and organised. In a similar vein, do not throw all your experiences in big blocks of texts. It looks messy and shows the employer that you cannot tailor your CV to a specific job opening.


2) Find a company YOU will fit in

Employers know when you’re just trying to get a job… and that means you won’t get their job! Don’t underestimate the importance of company and work culture during your job hunt.

Even if your credentials are amazing, you might not be a good fit for the company and vice versa, in which case you’ve wasted your time in applying for the job.

Maximise your time efficiently by carefully researching the company culture and keeping it mind that companies are designed to fit a certain type of person.

For example, a technology company that wants to emphasise innovation will make the workplace laid-back and filled with random toys and gadgets the employees were told to play with. This way, the creative, laid back employees could sit back, tinker and make surprising innovations.

However, for an individual that needs a clear of set of goals, deadlines and need be efficient, this work environment will be frustrating and confusing. Company culture matters.


3) Have questions at the ready

It’s important to show your interest by asking questions. Always have a broad question to ask when you are asked if you have any. Don’t be too narrow-minded or ask about holidays. Ask about the qualities that successful employees possess or what a work day consists of. The questions you ask are essentially a reflection of your interest.

The dreaded question, concerning salary, must also be brought up. Don’t think of it as overstepping your boundaries. This is also part of the interview process and how you ask and react to their answer will be used to measure you. Ask confidently and reply confidently.

Pick the right moment to ask; it won’t do you much good to ask during the first stage of an interview process. Instead, ask at the second stage where interviews are likely to be more final in nature.


4) Establish benefit

One thing interviewees miss frequently is that they do not explain what they will bring TO the company. This needs to be clearly explained in your CV; if you’re applying for a customer relations job, emphasising your experience in this field and what you’ve learned during the job shows that you have a set of transferable skills.

During the interview, do not hesitate to explain clearly what you can bring to the company. Try to tailor your answers so that you are answering the following questions:

  • How will hiring you benefit my company?
  • How will you fit in with my employees?
  • Will you stay with the company in the long term?


William Tong is a contributor for Inspiring Interns.  

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