You got an interview

So your CV and cover letter did the trick. Now it’s time to prepare for your interview.

You may have to go through more than one. And the first may be through an agency or a head-hunter - or even on the phone. Let’s get you ready! Here’s what you need to know – the DOs and DON’Ts to leave a lasting impression, to make them want YOU.

What’s an interview for?

  • To discover what motivates you and why you want the job
  • To find out if you show dedication and passion for what you do
  • To check if you will you fit in well with the team and organisation
  • To learn what you have achieved so far.

The questions will be aimed at getting to know you, to get the best from you.

 

How long will it take?

This will depend on the stage of the interview process and the job you are applying for. In general, you can expect the interview to last between 45 and 90 minutes.

 

What can you expect?

Your first interview could be a meeting or over the phone/skype or even video. Make sure you are ready for this too. Take it just as seriously as a person-to person meeting. There may also be more than one person interviewing you, but you can handle that!

 

Before you go to the interview

Prepare for it! It’s worth investing your time. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Know your CV - know yourself!
  • Know the job you’ve applied for. You will have to show where YOU can add value.
  • Know the company. Do some homework and find out everything you can.
  • Think of some answers to questions they may ask you.
  • Prepare some questions you want to ask.

 

It’s interview day

Here are the essentials to set you on your way.

  • Get there on time – 15 minutes early is even better.
  • Dress for the role – that means smartly, professionally.
  • Don’t forget to take your CV, the job description and any other certificates, references or examples of your work that you have been asked to bring or might be beneficial for the interviewer to see.
  • Make sure your phone is switched off or in silent mode.
  • Relax.
  • Be confident in your responses.
  • Be polite, be honest, be yourself!
  • Show a positive mindset. Your skills are important. But you also need to be motivated and show you are proactive.
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself for 3 minutes. The interview might simply start with: “So tell me about yourself”. But don’t talk too much and make sure you also listen attentively.
  • Be ready to answer difficult questions like: what are your strengths or weaknesses.
  • Don’t complain about or criticise your previous employers or boss.
  • Ask questions (be proactive, remember) - use the ones you prepared before the interview.
  • Before you leave, make sure you know what the next steps are and the timing.
  • When you get home send an e-mail thanking the person who interviewed you for their time – and say that you are still very interested in the job.

 

Remember - an interview is already a good sign – someone is interested enough to want to talk to you. And it’s a good experience – learn from it. If they give you feedback, take it on board to improve your performance for next time. Because there will be a next time. You will not be offered every job you are interviewed for - but there is one out there for you. Interviewing is a skill – and practice makes perfect like in everything else! Good luck for your next one!

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