5 top tips on how to prepare for a job interview

To Stickman sitting opposite table with speech bubbles

This week I attended a job interview for an IT Helpdesk Administrator role at Treloar’s. I saw the position advertised on Treloar’s recruitment Facebook Page earlier this month and thought I would apply for it.

Treloars logo

I received a phone call from their HR department last week inviting me to an interview which I accepted. But the job search doesn’t stop there. The most crucial thing you can do to succeed a job interview is prepare for it.

5 top tips on how to prepare for a job interview:

1. Research the organisation

The first thing you should do when preparing for a job interview is research the organisation you’re hoping to work for. Not only will the interviewer want to find out how much you know about their company, but for you to gain a better understtanding of what is involved, the company’s history plus their upcoming ideas, news and events.

For instance, with this role at Treloar’s, I already have previous connections with the organisation from when I was a student there. However, I still researched information on their website regarding their technology hub services where I would be working. This also gives you the chance to ask questions about the organisation too.

2. Understanding the job role

Once you’ve secured the job interview, go back over the job description to make sure you fully understand what the role entails. Also if you find any parts where you may lack understanding or experience, research these points and find ways to address the un-experienced parts in a positive manner. For example, I’ve had no previous professional experience in administration. However I’ve taken on various organisational duties such as booking carers and planning to visit live music, both are which transferable skills in an administrativ role.

3. Prepare mock answers

Another very important tip when preparing for a job interview is writing some mock answers to interview questions. You don’t have to memorise them like a script but it is great practise for when you attend the interview and you have some idea of what you’re going to say. I would say the 5 most important questions you should prepare for are:

  • Tell me about yourself?

  • Why have you applied for this job?

  • What are your strengths?

  • What are your weaknesses?

  • Describe a time you worked well in a team?

In order to provide the best possible answers, I purchase myself a book titled Why You? By James Reed, where it details how to answer over 100 of the most commonly asked interview quesstions. I read the book and made notes on the questions that I believed would be relevant to me and this particular interview. I then wrote out mock answers to those questions.

Word doc. Screenshot - 1. Tell me about yourself? I’m a university graduate aiming to secure my first job in technology administration. I’m currently a blogger where I share my life experiences, advice pieces and my hobbies and interests. To run my blog, I use various pieces of technology, software and apps in order to create, publish and promote my blog posts. For the past 6 years, I’ve been a voluntary writer for online magazine, Disability Horizons, where I’ve published over twenty articles including pieces on the best assistive technology. I’m also a member of a content advisory group for the charity MDUK where I’m sent questions on how they should improve their content. For example what are my thoughts on their upcoming magazine issue? Is it aimed at the right target audience? Does it help people with MD? What topics should they add/removed? In the last 2 years, I secured a couple of self employed positions; the first was freelance writing in a marketing department for a care agency. The second was an independent distribution role for the company Kleeneze where I gained valuable customer service skills.

The book Why You? is available to purchase on Amazon and Audible.

4. Prepare your documents

When you are invited to an interview, you are likely to be asked to bring documents such as ID, birth certificate, DBS form, qualification certificates and proof of address. Depending on the job role you may also be required to provide a portfolio of work from previous jobs and/or academic projects. It is importan you organise this a day or more in advance so on the day of your interview, you can simply pick up your folder and leave.

5. Be confident

And lastly, attend your interview with confidence. If you know you can do the job then go in there and show them you can do the job!

How did my interview go?

Emma Purcell headshot

The interview took place on Thursday 20th September. I think the interview went well. I completed a computer based questionnaire first where I had to answer questions on how to approach fictional scenarios to different tasks as a Helpdesk administrator. I then had a face to face interview. There were a couple of curve ball questions but I gave it my best shot.

As I write this sentence the time is 5:50pm on Friday 21st September and still no answer as to wherther I’ve secured the job. I guess I won’t know until next week now. To keep up to date on this developing story, follow me on social media >

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