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Preparing for an interview

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So, you managed to line up an interview, well done! Whether this is your first interview after graduation or an opportunity to take a step forward in your career, interviews can still be nerve-racking (and that's OK!), but with the right preparation you can walk into that meeting feeling confident and relaxed.

Everyone has their own way of preparing for an interview and there is no one size fits all approach, you should really prepare in a way that works for you. We have plenty of experience on both sides of the fence, working with candidates to aid their interview preparation and working with companies to set up their interview strategies, so we've compiled some hints and tips that may be useful!

Research your interviewer(s)

Research your interviewer(s) using LinkedIn and the company website. Take note of anything you have in common, perhaps you went to the same university, have mutual connections or are part of the same golf club. Commonalities can be great ice breakers!

Look through the company website

Focus on key staff, their structure, services that they offer, projects that they have worked on and their culture. Always look through their 'careers page', as this sometimes can provide further details on what they can offer you.

Google the company

You can find out a lot by reading through online media - what have they been up to in the community, what projects are in for? Check out the likes of Linked In, Twitter, Media releases etc. Also take a look through company or employment reviews using the likes of Google or Glassdoor.

Ask your network

It's a small market and chances are you will have connections that are already working there, or know somebody that is. Ask them for the inside scoop. Don't be afraid to reach out to a recruiter, even if you aren't working with them in your job search. A good recruiter will always be happy to give you some advice or market intel.

Read through the job description

If you do not have one at hand, you should be able to ask your recruiter for a bio or breakdown of the company and role, or may be able to find one on SEEK or the companies careers page. Have a think about your key project experience, achievements and your strength that would make you a good fit for the role and company you're interviewing for.

Research your own CV

It’s important that you know your CV like the back of the hand so you can recall key information when prompted. We recommend that you choose one or two key projects that you have worked on and make sure that you know them inside out, including:

•What was the project?

•Who was the client?

•What was the scope?

•What were your responsibilities?

•What went well?

•What went wrong?

•What was the outcome?

Bonus points if you choose projects relating to the sectors that the company work in!

Prepare plenty of questions

Remember, this is also an opportunity for you to assess whether or not this company or opportunity is right for you so don't be afraid to ask questions on:

•The position - what responsibilities will you have, how will you fit into the structure, what type of mentorship is on offer?

•The company - how big are they, what are their growth plans, what types of projects are they working on and what do they intend to focus on in the future?

•The culture - what is the team like, what do they get up to outside of the '9-5', how do they reward success and support failures?

•The interviewers - what is their background (use your research to guide questions!), why did they join the company, what has their experience being?

Things to do the night before!

•Plan your journey to ensure you can arrive 10 minutes before the start of your interview. Leave some extra time in case you get stuck in traffic or miss a bus

•Print off a copy of your CV and any supporting documentation that you may want to take with you

•If you are interviewing for a drafting or modelling position, or want to show off some design examples, consider taking your laptop or tablet with you. Make sure it is fully charged the night before!

•Consider what you're going to wear, we also recommend dressing in professional attire.