Even experienced professionals can get jittery before interviews, but there’s a simple way to calm those nerves: preparation. No matter how many interviews you've been through, personalising your approach for each one increases your chances of landing the job. The journey to interview success doesn't start in the interview room or in a virtual call; it begins way before that. Here are some straightforward tips to help you get ready.

Research the company: Before your interview do a deep dive into the company. Having a comprehensive understanding of the company not only boosts your confidence in answering questions about your interest in the role, but also positions you as a well-prepared candidate. Social media channels are a great way to get insights on the most current projects the company are working on, also check out the company’s website or do a Google search to see if they have recently featured in any news articles.

Align your CV with the job description: Looking for ways your CV aligns with the job description is a strategic move that will help you feel prepared going into your interview. Demonstrating this alignment through specific examples not only bolsters your credibility but also presents a strong case for your suitability for the role. If, for instance, the job description shows that budget management is a key responsibility, be ready to provide an example of how you have successfully overseen budgets in previous roles. These type of tangible demonstrations of your capabilities showcases your ability to fulfill the role's requirements

Prepare some questions: This one is really crucial, you should aim to prepare 5-10 questions to ask at your interview. To account for the possibility of your prepared questions being addressed during the interview, it's wise to have a diverse selection of questions at the ready. The quality and depth of the questions you ask serve as a direct reflection of your enthusiasm, eagerness, and perceptiveness, so take some time to prepare some thoughtful questions.

Research the interviewer: Attempt to find out who your interviewers are in advance. The interview invitation email might contain this detail. Use LinkedIn and the 'About Us' section on the company's website to delve into their professional backgrounds. This can help you to establish a connection with the interviewers.

Have your answers ready for the common questions: Some of the most common questions you get asked at an interview are sometimes the most difficult to answer. You should prepare in advance to answer questions like – ‘why do you want to work for this company?’, ‘what are your salary expectations?’ and ‘why are you looking for a new role?’ Preparing for common interview questions will help you feel more ready to showcase your best self.  

Plan for your interview environment: For virtual interviews, ensure familiarity with the required technology and pre-download any necessary tools, find a quiet and comfortable place to do the interview from. For in-person meetings, plan your route and navigation to evade unnecessary stress on the interview day. Though seemingly straightforward, neglecting these preparations can lead to an anxious interview experience.

Remember, even pros can feel nervous before interviews. But you can turn that around with preparation. Tailor your approach for each interview to give yourself the best chance of success. The journey to success starts before the interview—try these six tips for your best shot. You've got this!

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