The importance of being fully prepared for your interview

So, your CV has impressed the employer and they have invited you in for an interview. Nerves hit. What are you going to wear?! You start to feel like you really want this job and you hope the interview goes well. Panic, panic, panic!

The most important thing to landing a job is to ensure that you are fully prepared for the interview. By preparing, you will feel much more in control. You’ll have anticipated what will get asked in the interview, you will have learnt so much about the business and you’ll feel cool, calm and collected. Well nearly!

Here are our top tips to impress at that all important interview:

Dress for success:

Look professional, wear the outfit that you feel confident and comfortable in.

Dummy Run:

Take a drive or the bus to your interview in advance so that you can time how long it takes to avoid being late. Also check out traffic hotspots that might cause delay. You don’t want to arrive in a rush or a panic.

Research the business & your interviewer:

Check out their website, learn about what they do and where they have come from to where they are now. Who works there? Have they won any awards? Is there something recently that they’ve won that you could comment on in the interview? Look at your interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea because you can see how long they have worked there & if they have they progressed within the company? You can also see where they worked before and where they studied. Perhaps you went to the same school, college or uni and you have a common talking point. Also worth noting is the interviewer may ask “tell me what you know about us”.

Understand the interview format:

Ask in advance who will be in attendance and what the format of the interview will be. Most interviews are competency based which means the interviewer will be looking for specific examples from you. For example, “tell me about a time when….”. Also how long is the interview process, 1 stage, 2 or even 3? If you’re working with a good Recruitment Consultant, they should cover all of this with you (hint hint!)

Read, and re-read the job spec:

Make sure you fully understand the duties of the role and what’s expected. If the interviewer asks ‘what do you know about the role’ and you’ve not read it, it’s a sure fire sign you’re unlikely to get the job! Also by reading the job spec you can start to anticipate the questions the interviewer may ask. For example, if part of your role is to manage a Customer Service Team the interviewer may ask “tell me about a time when you’ve managed a team to reach a deadline”

Be early:

When we say early 5 or 10 minutes is great. Any earlier is just weird for everyone and you may see the last interviewee leaving their interview. Awkward!

Prepare some questions for the interviewer:

At the end of the interview the interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions for them. If you haven’t it could make it look like you haven’t prepared or worse that you’re not interested. It’s a good idea to prepare a few such as ‘when are you looking for this person to start’, ‘what training an induction is offered’& ‘how do you develop your people’ etc.

Practice, practice, practice:

Some are better ‘winging it’ and too much practice makes it worse. If you know you need to practice and that will make perfect, then find a friend and run through it a few times.

Think about your tone of voice, pace and body language:

You want to come across as positive, sunny, cheery and not negative, cloudy or sad. Talk at a nice steady pace. If you’re nervous and your pace increases, then explain that to the interviewer. They will understand. Remember your posture, up right, shoulders back and don’t cross those arms!

If you want the job, ask for it!

In particular, for sales roles, the employer will expect a close. We’re a fan of asking for the job at the end of the interview if you really want it. You could also tell the client that you’re very interested and ask for some feedback on you as a candidate for the role and the business. That way if they have any concerns you have the opportunity to address them.

We hope this little guide helps and gives you some extra tips to be successful at interview. If you’d like any further advice or assistance in taking the next step on your career give us a call 01143211873.

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