So you’ve got yourself an interview, well done! But what do you do next? Interviews can be daunting so in order to perform to the best of your ability on the day, you need to do a bit of preparation beforehand.
Research, Research, Research!
It’s amazing how many people turn up for an interview without researching the prospective company that is hiring them! An hour spent researching the company and its competitors helps you develop topics to talk about during the interview and shows that you have an interest in the position you are applying for.
What the interviewer expects…
- The interviewer will expect you to look smart and be appropriately dressed. From your experience consider what you think would normally be worn by people doing the job for which you have applied and dress accordingly. It is better to be a little overdressed than a little underdressed, to look clean, neat and well turned out.
- Be better than prompt. Plan to arrive at least ten minutes early so that you can relax, gather your thoughts and if you need to, tidy up.
- Although you probably feel tense, try to look relaxed and offer a firm handshake.
- Sit when you are invited to do so and when asked questions give brief, honest answers elaborating when necessary. Don’t try to oversell yourself, but appear eager, positive and interested in the job.
- Be frank and open. If you mislead the Interviewer you will soon be found out, so make the most of your background, experience and skills but don’t misrepresent yourself.
- Let the Interviewer talk and conduct the interview at his or her pace. Be patient and don’t interrupt. If the Interviewer is interested in you then you will have the opportunity to present the case to be taken on.
- When the interview is nearing completion you will probably be asked if you have any questions. You probably have so don’t be shy. It is better to ask now than to go away and wish that you had. You may want to know if this is a new position or if you are replacing someone, how many others are doing the same job, are they of a similar age group, is there a friendly atmosphere, what is the work environment like? Have you been advised about working hours, holidays and prospects? If not, now is the time to ask.
- Finally, when it is obvious that the interview is at an end, finish the way you started, with a smile, a firm handshake and say that you look forward to hearing from them.
After the interview
- Your first point of call after your interview should be to contact your recruitment consultant to give your honest feedback on how the interview went. The more feedback you provide the better your consultant can discuss your position with the client.
- Should you have any questions after the interview then do not be afraid to ask your consultant.
Your CV is your personal marketing tool, so it has to be factual and perfectly produced. How your CV is presented will determine how a prospective employer will perceive you. It must look professional, contain relevant details only, be in chronological order and contain no grammatical or spelling mistakes. It is always worth remembering that you may need to make subtle changes to your CV dependant on the role that you are applying for.
The main points to remember are:
How your CV is presented will determine whether your prospective employer takes notice of your application. The CV must look professional, consistent and easy to read. Make sure all of your dates/headings are in order and double check spelling and grammar.
Achievement & Skills
It goes without saying that you need to list your skills, work experience and education on your CV, but it is equally important to list your achievements. This makes your CV more three dimensional and creates a real person for the employer. Don’t forget your CV is a selling tool, so use this opportunity, and don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet.
Relevance to the Position
It is imperative that you carefully look at the job description that you are applying for. Highlight the most important aspects of the role and incorporate in your CV how relevant your experience is. This is what a future employer will be looking for.
Put your name and contact details at the top of the CV. This should be followed by a brief synopsis of yourself, which should be short, positive and concise. List your qualifications and include relevant training courses. List your work experience starting with your most recent/current position and work back from there. Employers will be most interested in what you have done most recently. At the end of the CV, list your general interests and hobbies.