Interview Tips

Before The Interview

Potential employers will expect you to know about their organisation. Start by looking at their website, paying close attention to the products and services that they offer. Look at the history of the company and their latest press releases. If you really want to impress, why not look at the websites of their main competitors and highlight positive differences in the interview. Don’t forget that your Consultant will, in most cases, know the interviewer, so make sure you ask them for any additional information. Prepare a list of questions you wish to ask the person who will be interviewing you but please remember to remain focused on the company its products and services. If you appear to focus more on the employee benefits such as what company mobile phone or laptop you might be given you will be giving the wrong impression right from the start.

Rehearse Your Answers

Typically, you will only have an hour to get across your key selling points so it’s worthwhile rehearsing what you want to say. Make a note of your key achievements, competencies and skills. Use specific examples to illustrate your suitability and note questions that you may want to ask – make sure you take your notes into the interview! It’s also a good idea to go over any of your weaknesses that may come out in the interview. No-one is perfect, and you’ll come across much better if you are confident and well practised. Be positive about why you want to leave your current job and highlight the confidence previous employers have placed in you.

Be On Time

It may sound obvious, but often people don’t leave enough time to get to their interview. You must allow for travel delays or getting lost. Make sure that you plan your route well in advance and, if possible, go on a “dry run” prior to your interview. This will also help you to be more relaxed when you arrive.

Presentation

Unless you are told otherwise always wear a suit. We start to make impressions on people within the first 7 seconds of meeting them. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make yours count and always be clean, smart and professional in your appearance at all times. Check how you look in the mirror before you leave home or your office and be honest with yourself, does what you are wearing give the employer the impression that you are the right candidate for the job.
Ladies you can choose to wear a trouser suit or if you prefer to wear a skirt please be aware of the length and please make sure it is NOT too short. Dress to impress not to make a fashion statement.

Head to Toe:

Hair should always be clean and tidy. Men with long hair should tie it back in a ponytail. Facial make-up should be professional, fresh and natural. Men should be well groomed, well shaved and free from stubble, if you have a beard please make sure it is trimmed and tidy. Remove any visible piercings and be careful with your choice of earrings, don’t be over flamboyant with your choice.
Please make sure your shoes are well polished and if you have purchased a new pair especially for your interview please make sure you have removed the price tag from the bottom of your shoes.
Don’t forget your nails for the gentlemen short, clean and tidy and for the ladies make sure they are well manicured, if you are wearing nail varnish, choose a conservative colour and ensure it is freshly applied and NOT chipped.

Final Countdown

Please make sure you turn off your mobile phone and if you are chewing gum or any sweets please dispose of them before you go into the building. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the receptionist and explain that you have an appointment, giving the name of the person you have been asked to report to. If you have arrived early for your interview and there is some company literature in reception, read it, it will help you stay focused.
When you meet your interviewer for the first time, shake their hand firmly, but not tightly. Smile and ensure you have eye contact.

The Interview:

This isn’t an interrogation it’s a two way conversation to help you and your prospective employer find out more about each other. Be positive and stay focused and try to give an open an honest impression of yourself and let your true personality shine.
Once in the room, don’t sit down until you are invited to do so. Try to look relaxed but don’t slouch and don’t fidget. Keep a good level of eye contact and always look interested in what the interviewer is saying.
Make the most of your pre-interview preparation. Think before you speak, do not waffle be precise with your answers if you are unsure what is asked of you, or you don’t understand the question, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to clarify.
Be assertive, but not aggressive or arrogant, don’t knock your previous employers, it is much better to be positive about your own future and how you can add value and help the company to succeed. Don’t pull down the company’s competitors and under no circumstances indulge in gossip about current colleagues if you have nothing good to say it is best to say nothing.
During the interview you will be asked some questions to ascertain your suitability for the job. Whilst we can’t predict exactly what they will be, our experience suggests that the following may well come up.

Q. Tell me about yourself

Stick to your qualifications, career to date and the skills you have that are required for the role.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

Your answer doesn’t have to be work related, but if you choose to discuss an achievement outside work make sure it shows you are an achiever.

Q. What are your Strengths?

What the interviewer is looking for here are personal attributes that could benefit the company. You must be honest with yourself and don’t be tempted to over exaggerate your strengths as if you are successful in securing the role if you haven’t been honest you will soon be found out!!

Q. What are your Weaknesses?

Honesty is the best policy, but ahead of the interview think how you could turn a weakness into strength. For instance is you feel a little inexperienced for the role, this is something that could be overcome with training.

Q. How do you think other people see you?

Don’t ramble here, Stick to short descriptive adjectives such as fun, sporty, loyal, determined and honest.

Q. Why do you think you are suitable for this role?

Prior to the interview you will have seen the job specification and checked off your skills and attributes against it. All you have to do now is reiterate them, explaining how your skills and experience will fit with the description.

And finally

Unless you’re asked about money, don’t introduce the subject at this stage. At the end of the interview always thank your prospective employer for their time and make sure they know you are still interested in the job. This will leave them with a positive statement and a good impression which will help to counteract any nervousness or hesitation that may have been displayed throughout your interview.

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