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Job Interview Preparation Tips

Get Ready for Your Interview!

Once your Curriculum Vitae is bursting with benefits and you have been lucky enough to be invited for an interview, there's no time to rest! The best thing you can do is stay in research mode and start preparing for the big day.

Here are our CV Experts' top five tips that will help you be ready physically and mentally for your big job opportunity. We don't believe that good things come to those who wait. You actively searched for a job and were rewarded with a chance to tell that employer why you are great. It just takes a little more effort to win that role.

Remember, whether you to decide to follow our steps or not could cost you £20,000 or £200,000. Consider the value of this interview to be worth: your annual salary x the number of years you typically stay at a company. For most employees, that's a big number.

Only you are responsible for your financial success, so start now!

1. Research

  • Start your research early. If your interview isn't for several weeks, start now and be word-perfect in time for your interview. The minimum you should do to prepare is to re-read your job specification for the role you applied for and write down a list of things you think the hiring manager wants from you. Think about your past roles and write what experience you have that matches each item on the list.
  • Ask the recruitment agency, or HR contact at the employer, the name and position of the person who will be interviewing you. When you have the name, Google them and search for them on Linkedin. Don't stalk them on Facebook. That's never well received. You need to know whether they come from a science or arts background so you know what language to use that will match their natural style. Other points to look out for include: how long they have worked for the company, where they previously worked and how senior they really are.
  • Now move on to the employers' website. You need to find out as many things as possible about: the product they sell, their customers, what changes the business is going through, whether they are financially stable, and what other job vacancies are available. This will all tell you how stable or fast-paced they are so you can decide whether you think you can fit in to that culture.

2. Practice

  • From the job specification and the list of your work achievements you wrote earlier, start building a list of questions that the employer is likely to ask you. Once you have at least ten questions, start rehearsing your answers so that you recall them easily on the day.
  • If there is an obvious gap in your knowledge or experience, address this before the employer does. They read your CV and invited you anyway, so briefly introduce the topic and then either provide them with a summary of all the points you do match, or tell them about another industry or company that you went in and got up-to-speed very quickly to demonstrate that you can learn new information and processes quickly. Most managers are looking for a strong set of transferable skills.

3. Prepare

  • Next, use your online research to draft a list of questions that you would like the answers to. The more senior you get, the more you should interview the company to ensure it is a good match for your personal work experience, ethics and goals. Good questions include asking about the company's goals, any recent changes to the team you will be working in, and whether your role is a new one or a replacement.
  • It is also sensible to like your boss! I know it sounds crazy as we all need a salary or wage to survive, but if you don't like the gimps you are working with, you won't be successful. We whole-heartedly believe that. If the team isn't right, then move on and work somewhere you do respect the team and company culture.
job interview tips from professionals

4. Presentation

  • We all judge each other all the time. Women spend months of their lives plucking, waxing, shaving, tanning and spending thousands of pounds at hairdressers trying to look just right. Despite of all this effort, many men and women, turn up at job interviews looking as though they just picked their clothes back out of the dirty washing basket! It's amazing! Don't do it!
  • Regardless of whether you are an advertising-luvvie, or a double-cuffed-shirt and-suit corporate, you can still match your employer's house style and look clean and comfortable in the process.
  • Again, remind yourself the total value of this one hour meeting (your salary x the average number of years you typically keep a job). Then, decide what time you're going to bed in order to be up and refreshed on interview day.
  • Set your alarm and then set your mobile phone alarm for back-up.
  • Check that your chosen interview outfit (yes, choose an outfit in advance) has all its buttons and hemlines in the correct place and make sure everything is pressed and clean.
  • Polish your shoes and check that you have enough hair cream for the big day.
  • Always dress as well as the manager you will report to. That will help build rapport and show that you want to be like them.
  • Double-check your paperwork to make sure you know which building your interview is at. Leave in good time. If you are driving or taking public transport, plan your route in advance and leave earlier than you need to. It is better to arrive early and treat yourself to a coffee in a little cafe round the corner, than to rush in ruddy faced and ill-prepared.
  • DO NOT ride your bike to the interview. Sweaty complexions, sweaty palms and getting changed in your future employer's toilet are not cool.
  • On the day before the interview you should feel calm and organised. If you are genuinely sick, call the interviewer to apologise in person and postpone. No-one likes wimpy employees who don't turn up for work - equally, no-one wants to catch your contagious flu. Make the right choice.
  • Finally, pack your interview bag. Carry two copies of your curriculum vitae, a smart pen (i.e. Non-chewed biro), a notebook and a small calculator. Depending on the type of role you apply for, you may find that some interviewers try and catch you out by asking you to complete short personality or competency tests.

5. Don't panic!

  • If you followed steps 1-4, you will have done everything in your power to be
  • prepared and present yourself in the best possible light.
  • We wish you luck! Let us know how you get on.

If you would like to learn job interview skills from a senior recruiter on a one-to-one basis, then please contact us today to find out more.

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