Job interview do's and don'ts

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How to be prepared and stand out from the crowd!

Interview dos and donts

Interviews are notoriously stressful situations. They dont get any easier and lets face it, a good interview can be a life-changing event. You want that pay rise and better prospects But, so do your competitors

Nothing in this life comes easy, especially good jobs. So if you want that job - you have to work for it!

Were not asking you to run in the interview with a banana or any other object, but if you take on board the tips in this slide-show, you will better your chances of having a successful interview and standing out from the other candidates

Introduction

This slide-show has been broken down into three sections:

Before: Preparation for the interview

During: Techniques for success

After: Feedback and communication

Contents

Being prepared is the key to a successful interview

An interviewer can tell if you have taken the time to prepare properly or havent bothered

PreparationBefore:

Many of them have been interviewing for years, so know which candidates have taken their interview preparation seriously

Candidates that dont take the time to research the company, are the ones that will not get picked. You will get asked the question, what do you know about our company? You will look silly if you dont have an answer

Having a thorough read through the website, including company history will put you in good stead, but also reading press releases and local news, such as recent successes will show you have an interest and is great for conversation during the interview

For example, I saw the article in the news about your recent acquisitions or Its great that you won the **** Awards

1. Research the company Before:

*Tip* Set up Google Alerts to monitor when the company is mentioned in any online news

Dont stop at researching the company. What about the people you will meet on the day? When you speak to your consultant, try to find out the names of the people who will be interviewing you

Why not connect with them on social media? LinkedIn and Twitter are the best platforms for finding out more about them

For example, I saw your blog about recruitment on LinkedIn, it was a really good read

2. Research the people Before:

*Tip* The Meet the Team page on the company website is a good way to find out more

This is really important. Instead of skimming over the role, look at what each part of the job entails and what the responsibilities include

You may be asked to describe how you would approach a certain task or deal with a certain function, so preparation beforehand will help you to answer this with ease

Before the interview, write a list of how you would do each task and memorise it. You will then be able to talk more fluidly and confidently like a true professional!

3. Research the role Before:

*Tip* Write down 2-3 keywords that will help you remember each part of the job

If you have never been to the place of interview before, dont assume you will make it on time and rely on Google Maps to get you there

Buses and trains are notoriously unreliable, so do a dummy run before you get there. Make sure you know the exact timetables for public transport and watch for traffic updates if you are driving

Turning up late for an interview is a poor start and shows the interviewer/s that you are unreliable, even if the bus has broken down!

4. Do a dummy runBefore:

*Tip* Leave half an hour early, its better to be early and grab a coffee than turn up late

Even if the company has a relaxed dress code, that is no excuse to turn up in ripped jeans and trainers. This is an interview, so a good effort is essential and shows that you are taking it seriously

Even companies with relaxed dress codes have meetings where dressing formally will be required, so looking sharp will show the interviewer you would turn up dressed accordingly to a meeting further down the line

Chewing gum, wearing headphones and staring at your phone is also a no-no. Your whole focus should be on the interview and nothing else

5. First impressions lastBefore:

*Tip* A nice aftershave or perfume shows you care for your personal hygiene too!

When you arrive at the interview, impeccable manners are a must. Dont think that the receptionist doesnt get asked his or her opinion of you, as they often do. Take a note of their name and when asked, say that they looked after you and was very nice

When you get asked if you would like a beverage, or to take your coat etc., remember, manners make up an impression of you. You may think you are going overboard, but they are an essential part of your persona

For example, Thank you very much for the tea Linda, it was lovely"

1. MannersDuring:

*Tip* Smiles work wonders too!

The interviewer/s will always shake your hand when they meet you, this has been standard conduct for years

Believe it or not, the handshake says a a lot about you. Pulling away too quickly can cause offence, a clammy hand can show nerves and half-hearted shakes show disinterest

2. The handshakeDuring:

A firm grip shows confidence. As silly as it sounds, practice this with a friend. A good, solid handshake makes all the difference

Body language reveals how you are feeling to others, even if you arent aware of it. We constantly throw off an array of signals, which contribute to others opinions of us

Do you look confident (sat upright, arms open) or timid (arms closed, fidgeting)?

Do: Make eye contact, smile, focus

Dont: Move about, slouch, look around the room

Dont: Underestimate how important body language is!

3. Body languageDuring:

4. Be Confident During:Theres a difference between being confident and cocky

Confidence in yourself and your ability to do the role is the key to success, whereas being over-confident can really put people off

Do: Take deep breaths to help you to overcome that initial anxiety

Do: Be kind to yourself why are you different to anyone else who has gone for the job?

Do: Imagine yourself succeeding

Dont: Panic It is a job interview, not a life or death situation!

5. Never badmouth an ex-employerDuring:Even if your ex-employer makes Hitler look like a cheerleader, never badmouth them

Your attitude towards them will help the interviewer/s make a decision on you and how you would speak about them further down the line. The reason for this question is so they may judge you on your professionalism and not the personality traits of your ex-employer. It is a way to get you thinking on-the-spot, to elicit a response and to see how you handle curveball questions

Always be as positive as possible! For example, if you are asked, Have you ever had a bad experience with an ex-employer? You could answer, I have always got on well with employers and have been lucky in my past jobs. I cant think of a bad experience

6. Blow your own trumpetDuring:There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements. Each persons achievements are big to them

What you may think isnt worth mentioning, could be something that helps the interviewer/s form an opinion of you

For example, raising a few hundred pounds for charity shows that you are kind, a team-player and are active outside of work

Be positive about your achievements, dont say something like, I could have done better - be proud of what you have achieved

7. Be knowledgeable During:It is very rare you dont get asked the question, What do you know about our company? So, when you do you need to be prepared, as mentioned in slide 5

However, it may go beyond the facts and figures, you may be expected to know about the company culture and even some of the people that work there. Social media is a great place to start, not forgetting sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ if they are on there

Also, be knowledgeable about the industry you may be working in, you may not have work experience in that particular area, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt look it up and be able to have some sort of conversation about it!

8. Take notesDuring:Taking notes during an interview shows that you are interested in what is being said and that you dont want to forget anything

Theres a lot to take in during an interview, so taking notes is acceptable

However, referring to notes to answer a question is not!

Jotting down names, keywords and general information helps you to familiarise yourself but also shows enthusiasm overall

*Tip* A good idea at some point during the interview is to give out business cards and to take the cards of people present

1. Be polite After:Towards the end, always thank the interviewer/s for their time. Regardless of their decision, they have taken the time to see you and if you dont get this job, you could be kept in mind for future opportunities

Saying something along the lines of, Thank you for your time today. Regardless of the outcome, it was a pleasure to meet you and I wish you the very best of luck for the future not only shows manners, but also shows respect.

2. Thank you emailAfter:A follow-up email thanking the interviewer/s for their time is a good way to stay in the mind of the interviewer or hiring manager

One thing that many candidates forget is how many people recruiters deal with on a daily basis

A great candidate may be forgotten due to the amount of people going for the job, but a thank you email can go a long way to being remembered.

It also gives you the opportunity to recap over parts of the interview in more depth!