How to prepare for an interview

17 May 2016

job interview preparation

In the realm of job interviews, appearances matter. A prospective employer will be hoping to meet interviewees who look and sound as professional as they do on their CV, so don’t take it for granted that your list of qualifications will get you the job. Whatever role you have applied for, and however senior, you should always do some preparation, so you can conduct and present yourself in a professional manner for your job interview.


How to communicate


The interview process isn’t confined to the face-to-face meeting with an interviewer. Remember that your communication regarding the interview may be taken into account, too. It’s a basic, minor element of the process, but simply replying to emails or calls promptly and politely will help bolster your application. Replying to messages late, or without the information requested, may make you look a bit inefficient, especially if all other applicants have already responded. Don’t take ages to confirm interview dates and times, and make sure you have all of the information necessary to get to the right place at the right time.


What to research


Your interview may not require you to perform a presentation or demonstration, but that does not mean that you should not do any research or prep work prior to your interview. Do your homework on the company, and the person you are meeting. Go to the company’s website and make sure you know exactly what they do, how long they have been doing it, and what they pride themselves on. You may be visiting a clinic for a role that involves non-surgical treatments, but does the clinic also offer cosmetic surgery? You may be meeting a medical devices manufacturer for a field sales role selling aesthetic lasers, but does the company also produce devices using other technology such as radiofrequency or ultrasound? Do they supply the public sector as well as the private clinics? Even if the job you applied for does not mention involvement across company departments, having a well-rounded impression of the company as a whole will help you understand where your role fits in, and so will help you answer interview questions relevantly.

Read through treatment or product lists, read the ‘about’ section, read staff profiles, and just look at the overall style of the website and photos of the clinic location. Most company websites will give you enough information to help you understand their specialities, and the type of clientele they may have. You should also be able to see whether the company is a small independent clinic, part of a chain, a small British company, or a global corporation. Looking up your interviewer can also be useful, especially if you don’t know anything more than their name and job title. LinkedIn profiles can give you an idea of your interviewer’s own background, their responsibilities and their position in the company, and how long they have been there. We’re not suggesting that you have to research your interviewer’s life story prior to interview, but an idea of how senior and experienced they are may help you address them with the right tone.

Don’t forget to read the job specification carefully either, as the list of requirements and the description of the role should be used to inform your preparation. Conveying a good understanding of the vacant position and how your skills and experience make you a perfect fit is exactly what a potential employer wants to hear from an interviewee.


What to wear


If you’ve worked in a corporate job, you may be familiar with a standard job interview outfit, as it may not be far off what you have to wear to work everyday anyway. But, appropriate interview attire isn’t just about wearing a suit and smart shoes. And, if you work in a clinic, you may be more used to wearing a uniform, or your clinic’s given dress code.

Don’t just assume that what you wear to work in your current job will be acceptable to all other employers, so it’s always best to play safe. Your current boss may not mind your brightly coloured nails and tattoos being on display, but other clinic owners may not deem this suitable. Keep jewellery and make-up discreet, and check that you look well-groomed and smartly presented.

Though there may be some flexibility on what is acceptable, as a general rule, wearing a smart, dark or neutral-coloured jacket and bottoms, a simple top, and clean, classic shoes, is the safest bet. Keep your hair back off your face, as you’re less likely to keep flicking it back or fiddling with it during the interview, and it will simply look more presentable. Don’t wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or shoes you can’t walk in, as it won’t help you feel relaxed. And, although this may seem obvious, never wear denim, trainers, leggings, or anything casual, revealing, or outlandish that you could wear to play sport or party in! This isn’t unheard of…


What to take with you


Even if you have not been asked to bring anything with you to interview, it can sometimes be wise to take some documentation along if it can in some way demonstrate your successes or skill range. For example, if you work in marketing, taking a portfolio of content you have produced previously can give your prospective employer visual examples of your creative skill. If you work in sales, then having your sales figures to hand to detail your successes during the interview is a good idea. Essentially, if you have any proof of your aptitude that is better shown to your interviewer on paper or an iPad than in conversation, take it with you, as it certainly won’t hurt.

If you are a clinician, then your skill may only be demonstrated practically, but if you happen to have a good set of before-and-after examples of your work, or testimonials from clients, then these could be used to substantiate your claim to being a talented practitioner. Practical experience and talent at treating will be of more interest to your interviewer than just having the necessary qualifications needed to perform those procedures. Though you will obviously need to be fully qualified and will need to show any new employer your certificates for insurance purposes, these are essential documents, not proof of talent. Make a note of how many procedures you have performed, and the range of different treatments, as it’s good to be able to give your potential employer statistics that demonstrate your experience.

Most importantly, though – remember to have a note of the interview time, directions for where you’re going, and a contact telephone number in case you have any last-minute issues on your way.


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