5 Things To Be Prepared With At A Job Interview

Sitting on a hard, unwelcoming chair in an unfamiliar office, you feel your palms clam up. The trek into the small room seems long and unforgiving; you instinctively keep checking that your carefully planned outfit is still intact. Once again, you find yourself sitting on a chair which forces you to sit straighter than feels natural.

You stare into the interviewer’s eyes and you’re hit with an overwhelming rush of panic. You’ve prepared nothing for this! Even basic answers dissipate from your memory. With one long sigh, you resign yourself to the fact that this job is out of your reach.

Going for a job interview shouldn’t feel like an interrogation and getting prepared for one shouldn’t feel like a chore. Here are five things you should always be prepared with at a job interview.


Know who you’re applying to

This doesn’t mean a quick Google before you leave the house or a skim over the Wikipedia page. Spend time learning about the company’s ethics, what do they aspire to achieve and, most importantly, what they do. Although these seem like obvious things to prepare, many people go into interviews expecting a quick recital of the company’s website will impress their interviewer.

Instead, go in with an in-depth understanding of all that makes up the company. Not only will this help you in the interview, but it will get you excited at the prospect of working for them and being a part of it! If it doesn’t excite you, then maybe it’s not the job for you to begin with but at least you got a heads up.

Additionally, it can’t hurt to learn about the interview process and the company culture so you can go in. Know what’s expected of you!


Know the role you are applying for

Of course you know what position you’re applying for, but do you know what this will actually entail? The answers you give should prove to the interviewer that you are right for the job. How can you do this unless you know what the job requires from you?

This additional research will allow you to be more comfortable in the interview because you’ll know what angle to argue your answers from. Similarly, it will prove you mean business and are ready to take this job seriously!


Know the industry you’re applying for

Not only will knowing about the company directly benefit you in your interview but having an insight into what is happening in the industry will only further your chances.

Consider what’s currently being written about your potential employer and how the industry they work in is faring now. Have there been any big developments recently which may impact the company? These are things you should know and be ready to reel off when appropriate in order to highlight how suited you are to the job.


Know what to bring

Make sure you know what you’re expected to bring with you and what will benefit your cause. This includes spare copies of your CV, references, questions to ask at the end of the interview and something to write on! If it’s a creative job you’re applying for, don’t be afraid to bring a portfolio of work with you. Even if not specified in the interview requirements, it can be used to your advantage.

Still, make sure you show off only your best work. The interviewer doesn’t want to have to sift through pages and pages of work which doesn’t show your full potential!


Know how to answer a question you aren’t prepared for

Sadly, no matter how much research and planning you do for an interview, you can’t predict every question. This means there is a good chance you won’t have an answer ready for everything. This is fine if you know how to deal with it.

The interviewer will be testing how you cope with each question, especially the ones you clearly aren’t as prepared for. Know how to stay calm and improvise using the knowledge you have prepared. This will prove to your potential employer that you can handle any curve ball thrown your way and remain collected. These skills can be practised by doing some practise interviews and learning to apply your knowledge to any question.

Whether it be part time employment or a full-time job you’re looking for, chances are you’ll go to a handful of interviews before finding the job for you. To many, this prospect can sound rather daunting. However, just by spending a short amount of time preparing and organising for each interview, they no longer must be something you fear.

Going into the interview equipped will be both a relief to you and your interviewer and may be the advantage needed to thrust you above the other interviewees!


Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.