It still surprises me how often candidates turn up for an interview having done too little preparation. We hear time and time again from employers that a key reason one candidate has been selected over another is the amount of preparation the successful person did before interview.

Candidates who do their research are like a breath of fresh air to an interviewer. It can help you prepare for the inevitable part of the process when the interviewer says “Have you got any questions for me”. It also helps to reduce nerves when you do your homework!

It doesn’t take long to do research and you can take any note you make into the interview with you to use as a crib sheet. You can use the checklist below to guide you.

 Interview checklist:

• Check the employers web site and history

• Visit their social media platforms

• Check their location online and make sure you know how to get there

• Look up the people you are meeting on LinkedIn

• Read their profiles and study their picture to help you recognise them

• Take extra copies of your CV

• Make sure you have a note pad and pen

• Take the research notes with you!

• Have some cash for parking if you are going by car

• Make sure your phone is on silent

• Check the weather and take an umbrella if you might need it

• Take your best and most positive attitude!

Notes to make pre interview:

Why you are excited about the job? Write down specific things you like about the company and the job you appiled for.

Why you believe you would be great for this job? What are the key skills and knowledge that you could bring to the ‘must have’ requirements of the role?

Specific achievements to talk about. Measurable personal achievements and projects that demonstrate the value you can bring to the company.

Concerns to be handled. Anything that the interviewer might ask about your background and experience that might be a bit difficult to answer.

After the interview make a note of:

What you like most about the company and role

Why you think you would be good in the role

Any clarification needed?

Preparation reduces nerves and will impress the interviewer. What’s not to like about that?

Tricia Hay. MD First Base