Image: Sebastian Kim for Harper’s Bazaar
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Plan your outfit and check names, office location, parking and weather at least 24 hours beforehand so you are as prepared and relaxed as possible on the day.
2. Know your stuff. Browse the company website, catch up on its recent news and read any background information about the person who is interviewing you, so you know what to expect and are prepared for any unanticipated questions. Also, check what company competitors are up to and look into other trends/issues in the sector.
3. Know yourself. If it’s been a while since you’ve had to recite your work history, or if the role you’re interviewing for isn’t a direct next step from what you were doing before, make sure you practice telling your story. Highlight the relevant experience from your past and know which skills will sell you best for the role.
4. Put yourself in their shoes. What’s the history behind the role? What is the interviewer looking for? Think about what you can say that would be music to their ears (or might ring alarm bells). Make sure you ask them questions too, and give them a clear idea of how you can help them look good.
5. Send a follow-up note. Most candidates don’t bother, so sending over a thank you email is a simple way to stand out from the crowd and highlight any points you want to reinforce after the interview.
Birgit Neu co-chairs The Network of Networks for Gender (tnon.org), a best-practice-sharing initiative for employee network heads from approximately 100 public and multinational private sector organisations in the UK, and also runs her own consultancy Neuchange (neuchange.com).