The GRG Guide to Interview Prep

There are two basic premises in the approach to interview prep, which can be summed up in the following (admittedly clichéd) expressions.

  1. Better safe than sorry.
  2. It’s not rocket science.

To summarise: be as prepared as possible – but don’t overthink it! Kick things off by getting in touch with the amazing person (hopefully from Gleeson) who arranged your interview and have a run through the basics. That means ensuring you have a detailed job description, finding out who’s conducting the interview (and more importantly, what their expectations are), refreshing yourself on your own job history and of course verifying what the office dress code is.

A quick note on that …

Dress Code

In this fast-paced, expressive world that we live in, there are many occasions where you’ll have the opportunity to express yourself through the medium of fashion. Unless the real inner you could be described as an extremely smart, clean, and capable member of society, an interview is not one of these occasions. This means nothing with marks, stains or creases. This means no extravagant headwear. No feather boas (talking to you Hulk Hogan). No masks. This means erring on the polished side of common sense – whatever the office dress code is.

By the way: an office with ‘no dress code’ does not translate as an excuse for you to stroll in, grinning, in ripped jeans and flip-flops. As far as interviews go, ‘no dress code’ simply means ‘something slightly less formal than a full suit’. You’ll still need a shirt or a blouse, which will still need to be clean and pressed. And yes, you will still need to polish your shoes.

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Interviewer Research

If you’ve got the name of your interviewer, have a look on LinkedIn and see if you can track them down. Then proceed to do a little (light) research. I will reiterate: there is no need to delve too deep here. You could mention that you both went to the same university, for instance, but there’s no need to bring up the fact that you both worked in a supermarket when you were 16.

On the subject of not taking it too far, make sure you stick to LinkedIn only when doing background research on your interviewer. Starting an intimate Instagram or Facebook-fuelled trawl through their personal life will most likely won’t yield a great return. Casually throwing in the name of their household pet or hastening to tell the interviewer that you’re right for the role on the basis that you, a Libra, are compatible with them, an Aquarius, will – at best – alarm them. So, when it comes to social media platforms, keep it strictly business, and use it only to determine things like how long they’ve been at the company, how swiftly they’ve progressed there, and whether they’ve been commended for anything lately.

Conjure up some success stories.

Don’t lie, obviously; but think of a couple of occasions throughout your life which give you a vague stirring of pride and boil them down into three compact tales of achievement. Such accounts will make you memorable and will help to verify traits that are difficult to quantify – like using your initiative, judgment or ability to work in a team to tackle a challenge.

Go to bed.

Probably not fully dressed ready for the next day. Your interview outfit should be laid out, prepped for the next day. Alarms and back-up alarms should be set. You’ll need to know exactly how you’re going to get there, how long it will take and what time you should be leaving. Once you’ve figured this out, tack on an extra half-hour to account for any unforeseen circumstances (traffic is an enemy to all people).