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Preparing yourself

A lot of candidates forget to give enough time to properly prepare themselves after getting selected for interviews and doing some research. It’s important to feel prepared and confident that you are ready to answer any question that is asked and able to push the interview forward assertively if the option is there. Much like going into a presentation or an exam if you feel ready and confident it really does shine through.

Some top tips that if you give the time to them, you’ll feel more prepared and the whole interview will seem more natural to you:

Have a mock interview with a friend based on the common interview questions you’re likely to face. Don’t rely on your friend to come up with these questions. Search for the company and you may be lucky to read of someone else that has gone through the process but failing that if you search the job title for example Junior broker interview questions you will find an array of pages with many answers and examples.

Be sure you know the time, date and location of the interview and the name of interviewers. A simple one but you do not want to rely on their website to find your way when the email stated a particular office and you’ve now wrongly turned up at their head office.

Decide how you will get there and when you need to set off to arrive in good time, anticipating any delays. Do a dummy run if necessary or allocate the time to find the place and have a coffee nearby. Worst case scenario you will comfortably be on time and miss out on your coffee if there are any delays. Do not turn up overly early as they will probably be doing back to back interviews and you’ll be sat there uncomfortably waiting for a long period of time which never presents anyone at their best.

If you look good, you tend to feel good too. Avoid any last minute panic by preparing what you’re going to wear the night before. Remember that although you haven’t got the job yet, you already want to be dressing for the job you want meaning it is better to reflect what the person interviewing you is wearing over what the latest fashion trend is. Skinny ties or no socks are never being worn by the head of the companies operating within the financial services sector.

Don’t go into the interview with lots of baggage – psychological or physical. Take the bare minimum with you so you can concentrate on the interview, and nothing else. This is not the opportunity to have a short holiday with friends or go to the gym, you can do those things but do not bring a bag for the weekend or anything else cumbersome with you.

If you are asked to bring certificates, references etc., get them ready well in advance to avoid having to chase around on the morning of the big day and think about how you will carry them there. A slip or folder can be very neat and look a lot better than an old school rucksack that is on its last legs.

It may sound patronising, but make sure you use the toilet before you go in – you don’t want to be bursting to go when you’re mid-interview. This is even more a must if you have your coffee beforehand and are solely doing interview drills rather than relaxing and doing the obvious call of nature.

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