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Job Interview Tips

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By Jane Wilson – Alpaca


How to ace that job interview

You’ve spent time on your application form, perfecting your cv or chatting to a recruiter – however you got there you now have that interview… what?

Follow this plan to get that interview!

  • Find out where the interview is, dry run the route if you haven’t been before
  • Leave plenty of time to get there, don’t be rushed, book the time off work rather than hoping you can sneak out at the right time
  • Make sure you have time to get into the right headspace before the interview don’t rush from another appointment – I call this getting into the zone
  • 30 minutes in a nearby coffee shop before the interview reviewing your cv/application and running through any potential questions (more on this later) will really help
  • Plan your outfit the night before – think about the weather (you don’t want to be breaking out in a hot sweat) and the organisation (hang out outside and see what everyone who works there is wearing if you are unsure)
  • Suits aren’t necessarily needed, but avoid low cut tops, jangly jewellery or too much make up
  • Make sure you only have what you need with you, no suitcases please
  • If in doubt be more smart than casual
  • Find out as much as you can about the organisation. If the role is through an agency they should be able to give you a good background on the business, the reason for the role and also the person who will be interviewing you
  • Otherwise use the business’s website/social media and anything on the internet
  • Read the job description in detail, the clues are there. Most interviews look for information to fit the JD so work out examples of each area in the job description and if you haven’t done something don’t be afraid to say so.
  • Everyone get nervous, that’s normal. Your preparation so far should help you get in the zone and feel prepared
  • Visualising yourself in the room answering questions well will help if you are really nervous.
  • If it has been a while since you have had an interview why not ask a friend to give you a mock interview so you can practice answering some standard (but really important) questions such as “Why do you think you are right for this role” and “ What skills do you have to bring to the role”.
  • The interviewer will be in charge of the structure of most of your interview, but be prepared for the usual questions – Why have you applied, Can you give me an example of when you have done X, What is the hardest thing you have had to do at work, How do you cope with stress, What would your current manager say are your current strengths and weaknesses?
  • Always have some of your own questions prepared, for that part of the interview. The questions could be practical – “how did this role become available”, “in the job description it says X, can you explain what that means” or personal “I am interested in learning more about social media, will there be an opportunity to do that?”.
  • If the interview has been so thorough that you have nothing left to ask then always finish with a strong impression – “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come for an interview today, I am really interested in the role and very much hope I will be successful” – leaving them in no doubt that you want the role.
  • Don’t forget to do follow-up. Call the recruiter straight away to let them know how it went, the client will be asking them.  If it’s a direct interview (your applied to the company) then send an email thanking the interviewer for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them.
Read more from Jane and her career tips inclusing this article on how to get a payrise, click here.
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