Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and now close to 300 years later these words are just as poignant as ever. In fact, the British Army have modernised the phrase to become, ‘preparation… prevents poor performance.’ And yet while we all know this to be true, it seems that many of us forget or simply don’t bother to prepare for opportunities or lifes tasks. Perhaps it’s because over time we decide, unconsciously or not, that because we’ve done something before the other times will be similar. This type of thinking however will lead you into uncomfortable territory, especially if you find yourself sitting in front of an interview panel that you haven’t prepared for. Interviews, particularly when they’re for a job you really want, can be scary ordeals but as with everything practice and preparation can calm your nerves and help you present the best version of yourself.

To help with your interview preparation, we’ve listed our five fail-proof preparation tasks that will see you succeed:

1) know your answer to the inevitable questions

Typically regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, you will be asked these two questions by the Hiring Manager. Knowing the answers to both of these questions will help determine a) how keen you are to work there and b) showcase your attributes.

Why do you want to work here? Answered. 

To help answer the first question be sure to look at the companies about us page and see if they list their values or any insights to do with their employees and culture. You should be able to use this information to make an informed decision as to whether their values align with yours and if the way they operate is the way you like to work. If the answer is yes, you can confidently mention the alignment of values and discuss the positive benefits of the way in which you both operate. You can also take the answer further by mentioning any campaigns, launches, or products you have recently seen and discuss how this excited/intrigued/got your attention and that you would like to be part of the company’s next steps.

Why should we hire you? Answered. 

You’ve been offered an interview, so clearly they see something in your CV or have been told by your recruiter that you’re a potentially good fit for this job. Now all you need to do is be confident enough to state those reasons verbally – which we know can be easier said than done. Examples of this in practice could be saying things like, “As you’ll have seen from my CV, I have over X years of experience facilitating/managing/operating X which matches the key criteria desired for this role. I also have a keen interest in this field, and as such am someone who actively believes learning and active development will result in making myself and the company I work for better.”

2) check out the company’s social media presence 

If you want to find out what the company is up to right now, then take a look at their active social media pages. In today’s world, it really is all happening on socials media and that in turn makes it easier for you to glean nuggets of information such as a planned product launch or perhaps a client review. You can then demonstrate this knowledge in your interview while simulataenously highlighting that you took the time to look and engage with their social presence, which is somehting all companies hope their employees will continue to do.

3) dress for the job you want 

Before you tell us the suit and tie combo is dead, hear us out. Our advice is to dress for the job you want, and if that job is at a company in which everyone wears casual attire then it is acceptable to go smart casual and if everyone is wearing suits, we recommend you wear something equally smart. You don’t need to be a carbon copy of everyone else, but you do need to respect the rules/branding of the company you wish to work for. One thing we can say for definite is that it’s probably never going to be acceptable to go in wearing flip-flops unless perhaps you’re interviewing at Havaianas.

4) arrive early 

This may seem obvious but it’s an important point to make. You should be arriving at least 5 minutes (if not more) before the start of your interview. In terms of preparation, this means finding out where you need to go the day before. You also need to factor in external unpredictabilities like traffic queues, tube delays, and maybe some time for getting lost!

5) let them know about you 

While trying to remember all the other rules about interview etiquette it can be easy to forget that the Hiring Manager is trying to find out about you. The small talk in-between the questions are just as important as they demonstrate that you’re a) someone who is easy to talk to and b) are able to share what interests you outside of work. People are always looking for conversation starters, and you can make this really easy for them by helping to steer the topic of conversation. For example, when you arrive you might be able to say something like, “I haven’t been to this part of X before, it looks great and it was so easy to get to from X.” This sentence will then allow the other person to ask about where you live or talk to you about the benefits of the local area. Don’t be afraid to mention hobbies, places you’ve travelled to or celebrate family members, as we all have a life outside of work.

Ultimately, when you get the job you’ll be working with these people for the majority of the week. Therefore, knowing that you’re easy to talk to and can talk about non-work related topics just as much as work ones is only going to emphasise how you’re a good fit for the role.

We hope you find these interview tips useful. Before you go, why not take a look at our latest property roles here or visit our team page to contact our recruiters directly or alternatively send an email to hello@tdm-recruitment.com.