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Job Interviews – a guide

We’ve put together a few tips to help you have an enjoyable and successful interview...

Impress your interviewer with insider knowledge

Take the time to research your potential employer. Try to learn their services, future directions, history, key people, recent developments and financial performance. Showing your potential employer that you know their business will demonstrate that you care about them and their job.

Search for information

Online

The company's website is the best place to start. It shows the company as it would like to be seen and the products and services they offer. You'll get a feel for the corporate style, culture and tone of voice. Check out the annual report and look for a press or company news page.

You should spend some time looking online for any other information you can find about the company. Put their name into Google to see if they've had any recent news stories. You could also discover some information written by their current employees on what it's like to work there. (It's also worth searching for your own name to see what crops up – your potential employer may be doing the same thing).

Industry sources

It's not just information about the company you need – you should also have a good background knowledge of the industry so you can impress at the interview. Browse through business publications and websites to see what they are writing about your potential employer and their industry. Have a look on the newsstands at the big magazine retailers.

Find back issues of trade publications at the library or access them online. Some journals are available for free or by subscription through their own websites. If you're already in the same industry as your potential employer, it may be possible to discretely ask colleagues or your suppliers if they know anything about the company you're interested in.

Prepare to win the job

Preparation for a job interview is vital. If you walk into an interview with a clear idea of who the employer is and what they’re looking for, you’ll feel confident and ready to answer questions.

  • Make sure you know the time, date and location of the interview and the name of interviewers. Decide how you will get there and when you need to set off to arrive in good time, anticipating any delays. Do a dummy run if necessary.
  • If you look good, you'll tend to feel good too. Avoid any last minute panic by preparing what you're going to wear the night before.
  • Don't go into the interview with lots of baggage - psychological or physical. Take the bare minimum with you so you can concentrate on the interview - and nothing else.
  • If you are asked to bring certificates, references, etc, get them ready well in advance to avoid having to chase around on the big day.
  • It may sound patronising, but make sure you use the toilet before you go in – you don't want to be bursting to go when you're mid-interview.
  • Be methodical - sit down with your CV and make notes, just as if you were preparing for an exam. Study your work record and what you have achieved. How do you see yourself? What have you done? What ambitions do you have? Make notes and prepare and rehearse sound bites about yourself. Do this out loud, even if it makes you feel weird.
  • Try to relate specific areas of your CV back to the job description. Then you’ll be ready to explain the connections between your history and their future.

Take the pressure off

If you prepare yourself well, there’s a good chance you’ll have a great interview. But even if things don’t go well, remember that the right opportunity will soon come along. Learn from your interview experiences and look forward to your next opportunity to shine.

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