Preparation is key to performing well in any interview or assessment centre - all successful applicants will tell you that. This article will take a close look at a number of top tips, to make sure you put your best possible self forward.
Be clear on your strengths and what you can offer
Before you make your application, ensure you have selected the right role for you. Make sure you explore ‘Assessing your strengths’ where you'll be able to take our Strengths Test to help you understand more about where your natural strengths lie. With this self-knowledge in mind the first hurdle is covered - now comes the key skill of interpreting the job role and understanding if it will make best use of your natural strengths. Research what the role is offering and how your skills will allow you to play an integral part of a team. Making this informed decision may help you to perform more naturally in all aspects of your application.
Listening is just as important as the answers you give
Ensure that you use your natural listening skills during the interview to allow you to truly answer the question that has been posed to you. As much as you will want to deliver any prepared or thought out possible answers, be aware that this is an opportunity for you to analyse the question being asked and then deliver a unique response, showcasing your experience, knowledge, skills and ambition.
Research, research, research
Before your assessment centre or interview there are some key research points that will help to build on your preparation. Firstly make sure that you are fully up-to-date on the company’s presence in the news. This knowledge will not only show off your preparation but also enable you to communicate with company representatives on a deeper level. Specifically for the interview, make sure that you research who you will be meeting, if you know their name. This will give you the opportunity to understand more about the person professionally, allowing you to form a greater connection and discuss topics that are relevant. Finally, even if you are not able to research who will be interviewing you, ensure that you fully understand the role on offer and the way in which you will fit into the organisation and its structure. An understanding of this level will give you a holistic view of the company, putting you in a position where you can communicate what attributes you have that suit the roles needs.
What to wear
Ensure that you look presentable, this is not to say that you need to spend money on new clothes rather that you are simply smartly dressed with a professional feel. Wear something that you feel comfortable in which also conveys your awareness of the professional environment to which you are entering.
The last thing that you want once you have prepared to the best of your ability is to turn up late. Check websites or apps for transport updates to help you plan your journey ahead and avoid any delays or potentially problematic routes.
Understand the importance of internships and work experience
If you are reading this article with the intention of applying for a graduate role in the future, then take the opportunity to bolster your CV. You can apply for a year long Industrial Placement with us (if it's part of your degree), a four or six week Summer Internship or a one or two day programmes such as Discover EY. Any one of these experiences will allow you to make more informed careers choices, while making yourself more employable. If you are unsure as to what you are applying for then take a look at our ‘What are you applying for’ article here