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Top tips for Interview Success
One thing I’m faced with on a daily basis is nervous candidates ringing me for advice on an upcoming interview. I always tell them that preparation is key – go in with a plan and then just relax and try and enjoy it!
So with this in mind here are my top 5 tips for preparing for that big interview:
1. Research everything
They’ll always ask certain questions like “what do you know about us” “why do you want to work for us” so you need to make sure you have an answer ready for these by knowing everything about the company and the role that you are being interviewed for.
Re-read the job description, I always recommend making notes on each of the points so you have something prepared to say for each point. Find out as much information about the company as possible, not just from the company website but ask your Recruitment Consultant about the work environment, check out their social media pages to get more of a feel for the company culture. Also take a look at what plans the company has for the future so you can converse with confidence at an interview.
2. Find out who is interviewing you.
Make sure you ask who you will be interviewed by when the interview is arranged, the last thing you want to do is go in and shake the hand of someone you didn’t expect to meet. Search for their public profiles online- Linkedin and Twitter are the two I usually recommend starting with.
Social Media sites are there for a reason and you could find some common ground to talk about e.g. supporting the same football club or sharing an interest in a hobby. This will give you the confidence to carry on the conversation and give you point of interest in common.
3. What to wear
You don’t want to be turning up for an interview in a stained shirt or crinkled jacket. Plan ahead – choose what you’re going to wear the night before, make sure it’s clean and ironed and hung up waiting for you to attend. I’m often asked by candidates what they should wear and I always recommend going more formal rather than less, a smart suit or pencil skirt and blouse will never be out of place at an interview. Appearances shouldn’t matter but the simple fact is that first impressions count and if you turn up in a sharp suit looking the part they will believe you can do the role.
4. Travel arrangements
More planning I’m afraid but the last thing you want is to be late for an interview. I always suggest doing a test run a few days before so you know exactly where you’re going and if there is anything unexpected en route which might pop up that google can’t show you. If you are using public transport maybe consider getting a slightly earlier bus train or bus in case there are any delays or cancellations. It’s better to be 20 minutes early and wait outside practising than running into the company 20 minutes late.
5. Have questions prepared!
At the end of every interview the interviewer will always ask “do you have any questions for us?” they are asking to see if you have done your homework and are keen to know more about the role. Plan some questions before hand in your head or write them down on a piece of paper to take in with you and don’t be afraid to refer to your notes, an interview will be impressed you’ve taken the time to do research. The type of questions interviewers look for are intelligent ones relevant to your role and the company such as "where do you see the company going in the next 5 years?" "How would my training and progress be monitored?" and not "What are my hours? When is lunch?"
As difficult as it is to do try and relax and be yourself, an interview is as much for you to see if you’d like to join the company as it is for them to see if you’d be right for the role. At the end of the interview remember to thank the interviewers for their time, even if it hasn't gone as well as you hoped. Afterwards it's good to ring your Recruitment Consultant to let them know how it went and if you have the interview's contact details it's polite to send a quick follow up email thanking them for their time.
Emma Harries is Yolk’s Business Support Recruitment Specialist so if you’re looking for a new role in Administration or Office Support she’s always happy to have a chat and offer careers advice.
You can get in touch with Emma on 02920 220078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.