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Interview Tips


Interviews are a crucial part of the recruitment process. No matter how good your career record is to date, the interview can make or break the next step towards achieving your career goals. Effective preparation is absolutely vital for a successful interview.


Preparation The Key to Success

One of the biggest mistakes that candidates make is lack of preparation for their interview.   Interviews are an acquired skill the more you prepare and practice the better at interviewing you will become. Preparation WILL make the difference between being offered the role and being overlooked. So, before you begin the interview process ensure that you:

· Know your CV and have a good idea of what your next career move should be

· Familiarise yourself with information of your potential employer, their culture and work ethos

· Research any issues opportunities within the industry and understand fully how you can  contribute positively to assist in resolving or implementing them

· Understand what the job entails and how you can adapt and make best use of your skills

· Check what form the interview will take e.g. is it a oneonone or panel interview. This will help you gain an idea of what to expect so there are no surprise

First Impressions Count

The importance of making the right first impression cannot be overstated, particularly in the first 30   seconds.  This is when the interviewer will begin to form an opinion of you i.e. from the minute you arrive.  Here are some general tips to get you off to a good start:

Punctuality is paramount, confirm the time and location of your interview the day before.   If you are taking public   transport, make sure you have an uptodate timetable.   If you are driving, allow time for delays and parking.

Ten minutes early is good practice, but try not to arrive earlier than this as it can irritate your interviewer.    NEVER arrive late.    If for any reason a delay is absolutely unavoidable, then communicate this information as soon as you are aware of the likelihood.

Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile, however, do be careful not to crush their hand in a vice like grip. A 'little' more pressure than they give is a good guide.

A smart appearance is vital, Business professionals would normally be expected to wear a business suit to an interview. Polished shoes are a must, and if you wear a shirt and tie, fasten the top button and ensure your tie knot is at full mast. Look the best you can, in attire that is appropriate for the role you are being considered for.

The Interview

The main body of the interview is usually focused on your experience, CV and the job description and requirements.    Be frank and honest, ensuring that you highlight any relevant achievements.  Communicate and expand on experiences that are particularly relevant to the role you have applied for.

Technical questions can sometimes cause problems

So think carefully before answering and make sure your answer shows initiative and common sense. If you do not know the answer it is best to say so, rather than make up a response, which may well trip you up. Don't be afraid to pause for thought or to ask for a few seconds to reflect on the question.

Handle money questions carefully

Everyone wants as much money as an employer is willing   to pay. Yet, when it comes to job interviewing, salary questions make most people uncomfortable. ‘Winning’ the salary you want requires careful action on your part. Tell them that while money is not the most important factor you would be seeking a salary in the region of Rx.  You need to be honest with the amount you cite, as if it is unrealistically high or deemed to be greedy it may result in your rejection.  If you quote a figure, make sure that it is a figure that you would accept if the opportunity ends up being your preferred choice.

Make notes during your interview

This shows that you are paying attention, plus taking an interest in the company and opportunity.  Be careful not to lose too much eye contact, or doodle.  There is no need to write down everything that is said.  This is also an opportunity to strike out your questions as they are answered.

Closing the interview, this is the most important aspect of your interview

Usually the interviewer will close an interview by asking if you have any further questions.  You now have a final opportunity to gauge how you 'fit' the position and to identify if there are any reservations that the interviewer may have regarding your suitability for the role.

Always ask the interviewer if they have any reservations or concerns that could prevent you from progressing to the next stage

Most reservations or concerns arise from misunderstandings or miscommunications.  By isolating exactly what they are you will have an opportunity to inform and overcome them.

Always be positive

Express your interest in the opportunity, unless you are absolutely convinced that you do not wish to progress the opportunity.

Always be polite

Thank the interviewer for their time and remember the firm handshake on leaving

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