How to ace your interviewTop tips to help you stand out from the rest
Interview tips and tricks
Now you have written your CV and completed your application, the next stage is an interview. This can be the most daunting part as it’s in ‘real-time’ and is unpredictable – not to mention the deciding factor for the employer. But with enough preparation you will attend your interview with confidence. Follow our tips to help you prepare:
- Fake it ‘til you make it – exude confidence and no one has reason to believe it’s a façade. When you portray self-assurance (for example, through an upright stance, firm handshake, eye contact and a clear voice) you may well feel confident as a result, if only for the duration of the interview.
- It’s never too soon to prepare – it’s not just about getting an early night and ironing your outfit. It’s a good idea to practice your interview technique in the week up to your interview date. Write down your answers to common interview questions and rehearse them, firstly with prompts, then from memory. However, don’t remember them like a script – you don’t want to seem robotic, or unable to adapt your answers.
- Self-analysis – practising interview answers in front of the mirror can be useful, or use your phone to record your voice/a video so you can notice things like nervous twitches or repetitive ‘filler noises’ like ‘erm’. See what your interviewer will see, as we are often oblivious to our own mannerisms.
- Prepare your own questions – the interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions of your own. Prepare for this by having some in the bank – however, try to avoid using this opportunity to ask about pay.
- Determine the type of interview – is it a group interview, or telephone interview? A one-to-one, or a panel of interviewers? The interview format affects how you need to prepare as each type feels completely different to the next. The technique of visualisation might help you here – imagine being part of a group of interviewees, or in front of a panel of people you might be working with one day.
- Presentation – just like the professionalism of your CV, you too need to look the part. Dress smartly and in keeping with the company’s dress code if you can find it. Choose comfortable clothing and prepare it the night before. Keep jewellery, make-up and aftershave/perfume subtle – you’re doing the talking, not your accessories.
- Logistics – plan how you will get to the interview location and allow for traffic, bad weather, and other obstacles that will be out of your control on the day.
Classic interview questions
Every interview is different – the interviewer will have their own style and of course you will have an impact on the direction of the interview, too. However, there are classic interview questions that come up time and time again that you can prepare for.
CV writing tips
The million dollar question – how do you write a winning CV that grabs the attention of a potential employer? A CV that makes them pick up the phone to invite you to an interview?Whether you’re applying for an Apprenticeship or job role, your CV has got to be right.
Application form tips for success
Filling in an application form can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t completed one before, or you’re really keen on the job. They can look complicated and extensive, but ease the pressure by following these simple tips to get you started on the road to application success.
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