CV Services & Interview Advice - Interview Hints
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When you are invited to an interview you can feel confident that the prospective employer has viewed your CV, and therefore you, in a positive light. This might sound obvious, but you should take a moment to consider the implications: the person you are going to see is initially positively disposed towards you. It is vital that you do not do anything to alter this initial view. Now is your chance to capitalise on your success so far.
The interview is your prime chance to build on this positive choice and be offered the job. From the moment that you walk into the room and the interviewer sees you for the first time, the impression you make will either reinforce this positive image or start to install doubts in their mind.
It is therefore vital that you do not miss out the most important stage of an interview: the preparation stage. The work that you put in before you arrive for the interview will enable you to be clear on what you are going to say and ask and to ensure that your personal presentation will be excellent. Preparation should include research on the organisation, the job in question and also you - ensuring you are able to support your application statements.
Some interview ‘do's’ and ‘don'ts’
- Research the organisation before you go, and think about why you would like to work for them
- Think about what their information needs might be, who their competitors are, and what their growth plans could be
- Prepare answers to common interview questions (see below)
- Think about the questions you are going to ask. Relevant ones will demonstrate that you are serious about the role and the company
- Pay careful attention to your dress, presentation and personal grooming
- Know where you are going and arrive on time or a few minutes early
- Go prepared with concrete examples of ‘how I did x’, ‘where I found y’ or ‘when I handled z situation I did it by’
- Don't ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies. It is bad form; the information world is a small one and it will not reflect well on you if you seem to have a chip on your shoulder or a negative attitude
- Avoid enquiries about salary, holidays, bonuses, retirement, etc during the first interview
- Try not to say ‘it’s on my CV’ in answer to a question, or display an arrogant or ‘know it all’ attitude
- Remember not to stare down at your hands or at the wall while answering questions, but to look the interviewer in the eye and don't forget to smile!
- Be enthusiastic: allow your personality to shine through
- Always conduct yourself as though you were determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity. It is better to be in the position where you can choose from a number of jobs rather than only one, or ending up empty handed.
Common Interview Questions
You need to be prepared to answer questions similar to those listed below, and to use these as openings to present your skills and experience in the best light, (whilst bearing in mind the requirements of the job under discussion).
- Why did you choose this particular vocation?
- Why do you want to leave your present job?
- Why would you like to work for our company?
- What do you want to be doing in your career five years from now? Ten years from now?
- What style of management gets the best from you?
- What interests you about our company, product or service?
- What have you learned from your previous jobs? Which did you enjoy most?
- Give me an example of when you have done X or Y?
- What are you major strengths / weaknesses?
- What can you bring to our company? Why do you think we should employ you?
- How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies?
- What does teamwork mean to you?
Questions to Ask
Most interviewers will offer you the opportunity to ask questions, normally near the end of the interview. You should take full advantage of this to find out everything you need to know so you can decide whether this is a job for you. If necessary jot your questions on a small card which can be slipped into an easily accessible pocket or bag (and thus found quickly if needed during the interview).
Some questions you might like to ask could include:
- Where does the unit fit into the overall business? How many users are there?
- Why is the position available? Is it a new role or a replacement?
- What induction or training programme would be on offer?
- How many are in the team? What is the reporting structure?
- What volume / type of enquiries does the unit deal with?
- What are the proportions of housekeeping work to quick enquiries to more in-depth research?
- How does the interviewer feel the interview has gone? What would the next stage be?
If you are interested in the position, tell the interviewer so, and ask when you will hear about the next round or when they will have made a decision.
Analyse your performance. If you know that the interview went well and you didn't get the job, it may be simply that someone on the day had that little something else to offer. If you know that you could have done better at the interview then work on your technique. Don't hesitate to talk it through with someone for some impartial advice.
How would you rate your interview technique and etiquette? Are you confident in an interview situation? If not, you can have a personal interview coach with rapidcvwriting.com. Find out more here.
Contact the Rapid CV Writing's CV Service for more information on +44 20 7183 5467.