There are thousands of blog posts, career coaches and recruitment consultants out there who will tell you that the most important factor in a job interview is preparation. They’ll tell you that if you fail to prepare, you should be prepared to fail.
They’re all wrong.*
Here are four reasons you never need to prepare for an interview.
You are already guaranteed the job, why bother?
Preparing for an interview takes time. You need to research the company, prepare answers for typical questions, know your facts and figures on your performance in your current job, and prepare questions to ask the interviewers at the end.
Why should you bother doing all of this, your CV got you the interview, surely that is good enough? Just go along with little or no preparation. You won’t be asked any awkward questions and if you are, just wing it. It is not like the company are interviewing any candidates who will do all of the above. You have this in the bag.
You already have a job, you are not really bothered if you get a new one or not
You’re not in any rush. If the hiring manager can’t see how good you are, that’s their loss. You still have this job, even if you are hoping to leave, something else will come along sooner or later. And hey… at least you didn’t have to do any interview preparation.
You know it all
You have seen the job specification, you know you can do it, why should you have to prove how good you are to anybody else? It is not like the salary on offer is a huge investment by the employer. They can afford to take a gamble, hire you and hope that you work out. They should fully understand that you wouldn’t have applied for the job if you couldn’t do it.
You haven’t a hope of getting the job anyway.
This job is way out of your league. The hiring manager is simply taking an hour out of his/her busy schedule to meet you just for the fun of it. It is not because they see potential in you or they think they can train you to be great at this job – they obviously just needed to make up the interview numbers. Instead of going through your CV or practicing examples of work experience you should be rehearsing jokes to tell to pass the time.
You don’t really believe that, do you? Trust me, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job. If you do not prepare for an interview and a less experienced candidate does – the less experienced candidate will get the job.
If you are being invited for an interview, it is because the employer sees something in you – even if you don’t see it in yourself. The interview is your opportunity to prove them right, and to move forward in your career.
To do that, you need to be ready to discuss your experience and answer key questions. Every new hire is a huge investment of time, money and other resources. Do you think an employer is going to do that for someone who wouldn’t even spend two hours preparing for an interview?
*In case you hadn’t guessed by now, they’re not wrong.