How to prepare for an interview?

Let's say you have found your dream company and dream role in it. You are invited to an interview. You are excited and a little scared. What if I say something stupid? What if the interviewer asks me a question which I do not know the answer to? How do I ensure I win this role and beat the competition?

The following 10 steps will help you prepare for and hopefully secure your dream job. They will also help you address any fears and ensure you perform at your best.
Research the Company
Interviewers want to know if you are self-motivated. If you do not want to spend the time to do some basic research about the company, it is highly unlikely that you will not want to other things in the role. If you really want to impress them you need to find something about them that they do not expect you to know.
Research the Interviewer
Research the interviewer - their role, where they have worked before and how long they have been with the company. These days you can find a lot of information about people on LinkedIn and Facebook. Finding something outside the work environment can be a good ice breaker so research their interests and hobbies.
Be nice to everyone you meet
From the moment you arrive at the interview – smile at everyone and be respectful and courteous. You will be amazed at how many people will give feedback about you to the interviewer - from the receptionist to the cleaner. Remember that if you do get the role, this will be the first impression about you your new colleagues will have.
Be Enthusiastic
Smile at the interviewer on walking in. Give them a warm handshake and thank them for their time. Start the meeting with an interesting icebreaker, and if you can make the interviewer feel like a long lost friend. To be enthusiastic remember that this is an opportunity, not a chore. Create a positive image of what would it feel like to be working in the company with the people you come across.
Ask Great Questions
The interview should be a two-way process or you risk boring the interviewer. Asking great questions about the company and about the interviewer helps keep you in control and shows them that you are thoughtful and sensible. It will also help you make a considered decision as to whether the job is right for you. Remember that you are vetting them as much as they are vetting you.
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Make sure you listen twice as much as you talk! The best way to be interesting is to be interested – in them. The more you practice this the better you will get in it but always try to understand why they are asking you a specific question. You may have more than one way to address their need to know.
Prepare Your Answers
Most interviews involve questions such as ’Tell me about yourself’ or ’What are your strengths?’ Make sure you are ready for these questions with some powerful answers. Experiences from the past are your ideal reference point. If you already know what they will ask you, prepare examples from previous work experience to show that you have been in similar situations and you have handled them well.
Match Their Requirements
Study the job description and their website for clues about what they are looking for in an individual and ensure your answers match that. Write down the kind of characteristics they are looking for and also where you have demonstrated those in the past. It's not a problem to bring the Job Description to the interview and use each point as a reference in your answers.
Be Personable
Let your personality shine and do not try to be someone you are not. Not only do interviewers catch it easily, but also you do not want to wear a mask and pretend that you are something you are not. If the company is not accepting of your character it's better for you to know this upfront than to spend years in misery. If you have any hobbies or interests that can distinguish you from other candidates feel free to share them. Give examples where your personality shined in your work and as a result your managers and customers rated you highly.
Express Gratitude and Follow up
After the interview has finished take the opportunity to feedback that you enjoyed the meeting and that you are very keen on the position.
Good luck!
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