Prepping for that job interview; the 4-step prep plan!

This will be the first of a three part blog  on the Do’s and Dont’s of interviews and interviewing.

Here comes the disclaimer though – while I am no talent recruit manager, or an Hr Associate, I have been fortunate enough to sit on an interviewing panel a couple of times at my work place and admittedly, interviews are very nerve wracking (for the candidate especially). This post will equip you on what to do as you prepare for that interview (read getting the right ammunition before heading out to the battlefield) so as to convince the employer that YOU are the best fit for that position!


  1. Plan what to wear – On wearing the right and appropriate business attire, some ‘dress code rules’ cut across for both ladies and gents. The dressing should be formal and conservative (fit for a corporate environment). Keep all your tattoos and body piercings covered, and let your hair be neat not disheveled – beards are not excluded. Keep your jewellery to a minimum; while you would want to shine and look very trendy, candidates who distract the panelists with their dazzling jewellery do not appear to have much to offer to the organization as they seem to be focussed more on being trendy and less on building the organization’s brand. So that means no chunky clanging bracelets and nose/ lip rings. Let your clothes be neatly pressed and wrinkle/ static free. Ensure your shoes are well polished and tended for. Ladies, no teetering in 6inch heels. Also on personal grooming, long talon like nails are simply a no no for guys, especially for that pinkie finger.  For ladies, keep the nail polish conservative – that means no bedazzled nails or mis-matched colors (the panelists may think you also double up as a lady of the night after office hours)….
  2. Conduct your due dilligence on the organization – Research on the organization by gaining information on the organization and its employees. Find out more on the organization’s structure, its financials and perfomance on the stock market, who its directors (if any are), when it was founded, who the founders are or were, what the organization’s core values and mission statement is, the organization’s products, their clientele and so on. All this may appear to be alot, but this is the best opportunity to wow the interviewers by proving that you are the right candidate for the position and this is simply achieved by standing out from the crowd. All this information can be obtained from the company’s website and also by reviewing its social media presence. Also gain more perspective by reviewing the organization’s business publications -so as to get a glimpse into the organization’s  industry standing. You may also gain a competitive edge if you find out who the panelists are, and address them by their job titles. This background information comes in handy when the panelists ask at the interview whether there is a question you would like to ask them (light bulb moment anyone?) 
  3. Plan what to bring – Carry all the requisite documents for the interview. This includes copies of your certificates, recommendation letters, transcripts, copy of your cv and cover letter. Its always best to be overly prepared than assume that the interviewer has all your papers. This conveys to the panelists that you have an ability to fore-see situations and create solutions.
  4.  Polish up on the scope of the job and its responsibilities – This involves reviewing the job ad one more time and keenly looking at the skills that were posted, and reviewing how you match up. Be crystal clear on the scope of work, the employer’s expectations, professional expectations and requirements. Know your cv inside out, as well as your achievements, experiences and skills set. One way to stand out is identifying how your weakness can double as your strength. Being a perfectionist may come across as a weakness – but giving a task the precise attention and detail it deserves makes your weakness a strength.

Once you have the above basics covered, we shall tackle on the next post what to do once you set your foot inside the interviewing room.

Next post – I made it through the door, what next?


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