Top 5 Interview Tips
So, you've found the job you really want. You have sent your CV and the great news is they now want to meet you for an interview! For many this will bring immediate elation. Then, perhaps some slight trepidation or even dread as well! An interview. A chance to progress your career or increase your income; there can be a lot riding on the outcome. To help you through this experience we have put together 5 top interview tips so you can prepare in advance and get the job you want!
This might sound obvious but do not underestimate its importance. An interview can be ruined even before it starts. Turning up late or even not turning up at all won't improve your chances. Therefore Google the location first. Have a look around online so you can see where to park if your are driving or how to commute there on public transport if not. Plan your route in advance. Also take into account the time of the interview. If its at 9am you are likely to be travelling there in rush hour traffic. Add some extra time to your journey and set off a bit earlier. It could make all the difference.
1) Plan how to get there
2) Relax Many people find an interview a stressful experience and nerves can set in. The best way to relax before an interview is to remember its a two way process. Whilst the employer is assessing if they want you to work for them, it's also an opportunity to see if you want to be employed by them. This thought process can correct any perceived imbalance of power. They need to impress you as much as you need to impress them. You are offering your time and experience therefore you should expect to be working for a business who will progress your career or meet your requirements. Once this is understood it can lead to a productive two way communication process which should ensure your stress levels are reduced and you can then focus on their questions and what you need to ask them as well.
3) Remember what you put on your CV Over time CV's should change or get updated, and information can therefore be added or removed. This can be done yourself or via a professional CV writing company. In most interviews an interviewer will refer to specifics on your CV to probe further into your experience. Therefore its really important to remember which CV you have sent them and what you have put on it. Before going to the interview check which one you sent and what points were emphasised. This will help you then to plan your answers and cover any areas where you could get questioned. You can also focus your answers on the experience you offer which suits the position and direct the interview where you want it to go.
4) Prepare your possible answers in advance When you attend an interview it's important to have some standard planned answers or responses to what is likely to be asked. For example if you are an experienced manager, and you are attending an interview for a management position, have some key management achievements ready to give to demonstrate your skill set and experience. You may even wish to complete some mock interviews so you can prepare well in advance your responses.
Also do not underestimate your answers to standard questions such as 'where do you see yourself in five years time?', or 'what are your three biggest weaknesses?'. Have a bullet point response in advance in your mind, then expand on this when answering. Don't recite something, but instead have a pointer and a direction you wish to go down already set out.
5) Ask the key questions you need answered It's now the end of the interview. It seems to have gone well. Then you are asked 'do you have any questions?' This is not a good time for your mind to go blank. Before you attend the interview have at least a couple of questions ready to ask. Also as the interview develops make a mental note of anything you wish to cover again or clarify. This can be really important when deciding if you want the job or not! A few examples could be 'what’s the salary?', 'is there a bonus?', 'what are the working hours?', 'is there room for career progression?' etc. The questions obviously depend upon the job and what you want out of it. The key thing to remember though is don't be afraid to ask questions you need answered. This will help to ensure there are no problems once you start the position and also if its the right move for you going forward.
If you take on board these 5 top tips it should help you prepare for and thrive in your interview. Hopefully the interviewers last question will then be 'when can you start?'.
For more interview tips and advice, here's a similar article to make sure all of your bases are covered!
This article has been written by Chris Pennington on behalf of Your CV Consultant
who are experienced in CV Writing and Career Advice. Chris Pennington has had a successful 15 year career in Recruitment and Career Coaching gained within Financial Solutions. Within this time he has built up a wealth of experience in CV Assessment and Interviewing Candidates.