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Stage 2: Nailing your interview

11/07/2017
Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

You may have seen our previous blog on creating a great CV, but how do you nail the next stage to secure your dream job. You might think that now you’ve passed through the gatekeeper that the hard part is over, but the interview really gives you the chance to strut your stuff in front of the key decision makers. So what should you keep in mind?

Be punctual, but not too punctual

Arriving early for the interview is important, after all it doesn’t exactly set a glowing precedent for what your time working there will be like if you’re late. However, don’t make the mistake of being too early as you’re more likely to look desperate more than anything else. A good rule of thumb is to be 15 minutes early, stick to that and it gives you plenty of time to compose your thoughts as well as demonstrating your good timekeeping skills.

Practice, practice, practice

Ensure you conduct some thorough research on the organisation that you can drop throughout your interview to highlight your knowledge and proactivity. Go over some standard interview questions as well as some role specific ones with a friend or family member and you’re likely to feel much more prepared and less stressed when the day comes around. However, it’s a thin line to tread between being ready and sounding like you’re reading off a script, so try to keep things as natural as possible.

Give examples

Rather than just reeling off a list of your top attributes, look to form an evidence based argument about why you should get the role you want. You need to show proof that you are what you say you are and highlighting your achievements build a more compelling case for why the organisation should choose you. If you can show examples of when you’ve saved your previous employers time or money or simplified any overly complex processes, you’re likely to stand in good stead.

Interview your interviewer

This isn’t just an opportunity for the organisation and its staff to learn about you, it’s also your chance to learn about them so try and turn the situation into a conversation, rather than an interview. Don’t go over the top, you do still need to answer the questions you’re being posed, but look to send some back in the other direction.

Prepare questions in advance

Along similar lines it’s also crucial to prepare a series of questions to ask at the end of the interview and not having any rarely tends to leave a favourable impression. Good examples include asking about timeframes, when you’re likely to hear back from them and if the firm has interviewed many people for the role. A good question to get real insight into the organisation is asking them what they like about working there. There are no definitive rules, but it’s certainly much better to have something ready to ask.

Close the interview and follow up

Finally, look to close the interview yourself by asking whether there’s any other information that they would like to know about you or if there are any areas of your CV or application that they have questions over. It’s also well worth following up your interview with a quick email or phone call to say thanks as this is likely to make you stand out from the crowd when they review applications.

What factors do you think are important to nail an interview? Share your thoughts with us below.

Read this blog to read what you interview is actually looking for. Also, check out our other blog posts here.

If you are still on the hunt for that dream job, call the office on 01772 259121 to see how we can help. Or check out our current jobs here.

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