Having scoured the market and used helpful job-hunting tips, you’ve now achieved your first goal and landed interviews with some exciting firms or organizations.
In this next stage, we’re here to offer advice and tips for your interview preparation. At Distinct, we have extensive experience supporting both employers and candidates. As a result, we have developed this tried and tested advice in order to help you approach your job interview effectively.
This is part 1 (interview preparation) of our interview tips guide. For part 2 (the interview), click here.
Research, research, research
At the top of our list for interview preparation tips, you need to research your role, potential employer, and industry. Even experienced candidates can be behind on the latest developments, so ensure you know everything about the latest systems, trends in the industry and company news.
This is where prep comes in. The better the quality of your prep, the better you’ll perform. To help with this, we suggest breaking research down into basic and advanced.
This level of research means simply studying the company, considering aspects such as:
- What they do
- Where they operate
- Core markets
- Future direction
- Their vision and values
- The expertise of the person interviewing you
To do this, read through their website, search the company name in Google for recent news and comb through their company LinkedIn.
This will give you a thorough understanding of the culture you’re hoping to join and the long-term goals and direction of the company. In turn, you can understand where you fit into this and why you’d be a good addition to their team.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to move on to advanced research.
This is where you can glean crucial insight.
- If relevant, what are your future team members’ backgrounds and qualifications?
Are you joining a team where others have (or are working towards) certain finance qualifications? Are you joining a team of marketers where members specialise in PPC, SEO or content?
Is there an opening within this team, where your own specialist knowledge will strengthen their results and help them to expand into new projects and areas?
- Have people progressed within the business?
Look for career paths on their website and social media announcements around internal promotions. This is a great way to decide whether you can see your own future development and long-term career growth with the business.
- Have employees discussed their experiences on social media?
LinkedIn posts can be a fantastic insight into employee’s experiences with the business. These can often discuss anything across the spectrum from company events, career progression and culture, to whether they are given access to training and upskilling, support for neurodivergence or mental health, their experience during maternity or returning to work – and so on.
If you’re interviewing at a company where you already know someone, you can ask them for their thoughts and experience working there.
You can also research the company’s social media profiles to see how they communicate with customers, engage with the public and what kinds of content they tend to post or interact with.
Dissecting the job spec
Along with company info, you’ll find key information right in front of you on the job spec. The job spec is like having the answer sheet before you head into the exam, as it contains the behaviours and technical skills that will be assessed at the interview.
Study this document, highlight key skills you possess and think about what questions you may be asked.
The job interview
Now you’ve completed your research, you’re all set for the big day. Read on for Part 2, where we walk through the interview itself (and provide a checklist for digital interviews) to ensure your hard work can be utilised.
Work with Distinct
At Distinct, we match candidates to their ideal job opportunities across the UK. Contact us today to learn how we can support you to take the next step in your career.