The dreaded interview. Many of us go into a state of panic, imagining those days in school when our teacher asked us a question and we drew a blank. Well, in reality, most interviews really aren’t that bad. And if you’ve prepped accordingly, there should be absolutely nothing to worry about.
Interviews are about two things, doing your research, and above all else, being yourself. The most important thing to be concerned about is how you come across. Although interviews can be far more complex these days, with problematic tests, difficult competency questions and personality profiling, the part where most people tend to fall down is answering basic interview questions. It’s all about presenting yourself in the right way.
The best way to ensure you’re as prepared as possible is to know your CV inside out. Whilst your CV exists to talk you up, not trip you up - there is still a real danger of this happening if you don’t know your facts. Verse yourself on your experience and be prepared to elaborate on what’s on there and you won’t go far wrong.
If you want to absolutely nail your interview and leave a lasting impression, then study for your interview like you would for a big test. But take note, interview prep isn’t simply about digging up info on the job role and company you want to work for, it’s about finding ways to demonstrate how spectacular you are, and how this relates to the job you are interviewing for.
Here’s how to prep for an interview and how to enhance your chances of getting that dream job, like working at Virgin Media for example:
Browse the company websites
A perfect starting point is the company websites. Show that you’ve at least taken the time to read up about their business and remember that the company may have more than one website you can brush up on. Keep an eye out for career microsites, as well as corporate websites - these will be full of extra helpful business information if you really want to show you’ve done your homework.
Other helpful tips:
- Check their ‘about us’ page and read about the company history. Remember key bits of info that you can reel off in your interview to show you’ve done your research.
- Try to get a feel for their goals and product or service, and what sort of company they are.
- Spend some time really getting to know the business via their website and think about why you want to work for them.
- Make some notes on anything that might be useful to bring up in your interview.
Study the job role
After you know everything there is to know about the company, it’s time to read the fine print, a.k.a the job description.
- Print off the job role and make notes against each point detailing how you meet the requirements.
- Think of key skills and competencies that demonstrate your suitability for the role.
- Compare the job role against your CV and experience - check you can prove all the desired qualities and experience
Research employees on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a wonderful source of information for candidates looking for a job, but it can also help you with your interview prep.
- Search for employees in the business and your interviewer on LinkedIn.
- View their profiles and look out for any handy information, such as things you might have in common.
- Connect with key staff in the business or anyone within the company you know.
- Read through the company profile on LinkedIn.
- Check your profile is up to scratch before the interview.
Check out the company profile on Glassdoor
Glassdoor can give you an insight into how employees rate a company as well as the interview process.
- Scroll down to the interview section, there will be an interview difficulty rating of easy, average, or hard.
- The interview section also rates people’s experience of interviewing with a particular company and whether they had a positive experience or not.
- You can also look to see how most people obtained an interview, whether it was online or through a recruiter for example.
- Perhaps the most valuable part is the section where people leave comments about their interview experience, you can find all sorts of handy tips here.
- Check the company updates section for up to date news about the company.
Check competitors and industry news
Before you show up to an interview, as well as looking at the company website, it’s also worth looking at a few competitor sites and seeing what’s going on within your sector.
- Get ideas and inspiration for things to talk about.
- Make suggestions in the interview and show you’ve taken a look at what competitors are up to.
- Research their industry news to show that you stay up to date with new developments.
- Remember to take things with a pinch of salt - particularly review sites. These tend to mostly attract disgruntled former employees and aren’t necessarily an accurate reflection on the company.
Questions to ask
Don’t forget to prepare some questions of your own. Asking the right questions can really make an impact.
- Consider their strategy and align your questions to that, including things like CSR and company values.
- Prepare three to four questions to ask at the end of the interview that not only get you the info you need but demonstrate your interest in the company.
Learn about body language
How you carry yourself and the body language you use during an interview can have more of an impact on your success than you might think.
- Take some time to learn the basics of body language and how it affects the way you come across in professional situations.
- Watch this handy video to get you started.
The Virgin Media careers website
You can get news, tips and the latest jobs via our Virgin Media Careers site. Check out helpful careers related articles here.