Checklist to stay ahead at interviews. So you have been invited to interview for the job of your dreams, what next? Wait for the day with bated breath and see how it goes, or start preparing immediately to guarantee you shine on that important day? Prepare for interviews as far in advance as possible. Preparation is key, sounds obvious but many of us don’t spend the time we should on preparing for an interview, as they are not a regular occurrence it’s easy to overlook the simple and straight forward points, so it’s good to remind ourselves of them. There are as we know common interview questions that most employers will ask, so be ready for them and have prepared responses. If you are asked a “Tell us about yourself” type question, have a 2-3 minute concise response that you can simply adapt to incorporate key skills relevant to that position. If selling yourself doesn’t come naturally, why not practice at home in front of a mirror or record yourself and listen back. Get comfortable selling yourself and don’t rush your answers, take your time to think of relevant responses. Speak slowly and calmly, be the tortoise and not the hare, slow and steady can win the race. Trickier but other well-known interview questions, “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years” Have a response that is concise and interesting that will convince the interviewer you are the candidate for them.
Key points before an interview Find out from the agent beforehand as much as possible, the interview structure, how many interviewers are there, & who? Will you be meeting HR, Personal assistants, the dynamics vary considerably and you want to be ready with no surprises. On the day of the Interview make sure you are awake and take your time to get ready. Have a good breakfast, know your timings to get to the office or other venue. Local car parking areas if driving, or if relying on public transport have a back-up. Think preparation is key for interviews.
Make sure your suit, shirt or blouse is clean & pressed, tie if necessary and shoes polished and laid out. Hair tidy or freshly cut, these small details seem very obvious but its surprising how many Candidates arrive at our offices for interviews and are not satisfactorily prepared.
It is essential to look the part, you need to deliver a positive professional persona, look positive, think positive, be positive, your confidence will also benefit. Remember to take copies of your CV’ and references in a folder or satchel carry case.
Key points during an interview Remember, chemistry with the interviewer will have a bearing on the outcome, try to enjoy the experience and maintain positive throughout. Try and asses the interviewers response to questions you have answered, maintain a steady flow of conversation, and pausing for a relevant and thoughtful response is perfectly acceptable, the process doesn’t need to be rushed, if you feel you are speaking too fast due to nerves make a conscious effort to relax and slow down. Look positive, think positive, be positive. Have a list of relevant question that may need to be clarified about the job itself, also make important notes regarding certain details of the job may be useful, but check with the interviewer beforehand that they are happy for you to do this. Have an understanding of the process to follow, when you are likely to hear from the company / household, and let the agency know, if that time passes the agency can actively follow up for you.
Key points after the interview When you leave, find a suitable place outside to make notes and important details on questions you were asked and rate how you answered them, where you could have been stronger in your response, so if this job doesn’t work out, you have notes on where to improve in future interviews. The following day if appropriate contact the agency checking for feedback, if you have the contact details of the employer it can be tempting to contact them directly, but this can be troublesome and its always best to rely on the agency for feedback and progress to the next stage. If you were unsuccessful this time around, use your notes to improve for the next opportunity or if you did well, congratulations you can now get ready for the second round, or accepting the job. Look positive, think positive, be positive.