The interview provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and experience. When it comes to an interview, you can never be too prepared, thorough research and effective preparation is essential to interview success.
Before the Interview
It is important to find out as much as possible about the role you are interviewing for, speak to your Consultant to ensure you have all necessary information and also conduct your own research on the organisation. Have they had any recent press coverage? Are they running any new initiatives or transformation projects? Review their website and look at most recent Ofsted inspection or other relevant reports and ensure you make note of important points, ready to raise at the interview. It is obvious when candidates have done the necessary research and being well prepared allows you to go into the interview with confidence.
Interviews can take different formats, therefore it is essential that you find out the specific requirements in plenty of time. Your Consultant will provide you with all relevant information prior to your interview, however don’t be afraid to ask for more information or clarification. Be sure to understand if the interview will be formal or informal, include behavioural based questions, whether a presentation is required or if you will be required to undertake an assessment. It is also beneficial to find out how many interview stages there will be before a decision is confirmed.
Think of Examples
Your interviewer will be asking you plenty of questions to find out about you and your ability. Take time to review your CV and reflect on the relevant positions you have previously held and think how these experiences relate to the role you are interviewing for. It is important to have examples and evidence of what you have achieved so think of situations you can articulately describe to your interviewer. It is also beneficial to analyse your own strengths and weaknesses so you can be confident and proud when explaining your strengths and in turn be critical of your weaknesses and identify strategies to address your weaknesses.
There is no need to over-script your answers or try to pre-empt what will be asked at interview, however the more prepared you are the more confident you will appear. If you are feeling anxious about your upcoming interview rehearse some of your answers with a family member or friend, as practice builds confidence.
Prepare Your Own Questions
The most important thing to remember is that an interview is a two way process. You are there to find out information about your prospective employer as much as they are there to find out about you and your experience. Preparing your own questions can help you gain information about the role, the team and the wider organisation and also highlights your interest in the opportunity as you have taken the time to consider intelligent questions to ask.
It is also recommended to sharpen your current knowledge of your specialist area, for example, current news developments or new legislation that may affect your profession. Being able to understand and converse about current topics, will show you are knowledgeable about your sector and will build credibility with your interviewer.