For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume that, as a candidate preparing for an interview, you have made what I would consider to be the “basic preparations". That is to say:
Now that you have the basics covered, you can start preparing for what is actually going to make you stand out during that interview, giving you an advantage over other candidates.
You need to know what they're looking for so that you can make the focal point of the interview drawing parallels between your skill set and their desired skill set. If you are interviewing through a recruiter, this should be made easier. Your recruiter will likely have met the client (we meet all of our clients) and will know what value the business wants this role to bring, what specific projects the client wants the successful candidate to be getting involved in, and what strengths and skill set they're looking to be demonstrated during the interview.
If your recruiter hasn't already discussed this with you, ask. Get a phone call booked in with your recruiter the day before the interview (once you've already prepared your own research on the business) to talk through any remaining questions that you might have and to run through the information that you won't necessarily find on a website.
I've so often had candidates whom I've interviewed who haven't prepared any quantifiable achievements to discuss with me in our meeting. It's virtually impossible to market a candidate into a role when they can't even demonstrate to me what value they've brought in a previous role, never mind to the person who will ultimately be paying their wage.
Listing your responsibilities will not set you apart from the crowd. Listing favourable yet unquantifiable traits (e.g. I'm extremely trustworthy) without specific evidential examples will not set you apart from the crowd.
Prepare by considering what change you've implemented in previous businesses. What did you alter to make the business run smoother or to make the business more profitable? Examples might include:
Consider your quantifiable achievements and make parallels between what you've achieved and what they're looking for.
There's a two-pronged approach to this. Firstly, you want to ask the questions that will reflect you in a good light. Secondly, you want to ask the questions that will allow you to interview them.
If you're taking the time (and expense) of attending an interview, you ought to give yourself the best fighting chance. So do your research, do your preparation and make sure you arrive on time and in good nick.
On the bright side, once you've established your quantifiable achievements they can be fairly transferable to most interviews you attend!
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