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Essential interview techniques

Never forget pre interview preperation. Good preparation is the key to appearing informed, interested and suitable. You must fully understand the role and fit into the company ethos. The better briefed you are, the less nervous you will appear - allowing the real you to shine through.
  • Prior to the interview you should ensure that you have the exact job specification for the role you are applying for, if not you should ask for a copy. It is expected that employers will provide this document in time to allow adequate preparation.
  • Speak to anyone who has worked for the same organisation or try to speak to someone who has held a similar role.
  • Familiarise yourself with your CV, as this may well be the basis for some of the questions asked.
  • Take a copy of your CV - it is quite astonishing the amount of times interview panels do not have a copy.
  • Make sure you are confident about the location of the interview and leave plenty of time to find it. If you can, do a dummy run the day before at a similar time, to give you an idea of how long the journey takes.
  • Prior to the interview familiarise yourself with the names of the interviewers and the structure of the interview process.
  • At some interviews you will be expected to take tests, give presentations and participate in group activities. (In one interview I attended I was given three newspapers, some string and told to build the tallest structure I could!) If there are going to be tests involved, phone the company to find out the nature of the test and ask if it is possible to have some sample papers.
  • Read all the information you are given several times and take notes. When you arrive early for your interview you can find a café and read through them.

In the interview

Once again, all the clichés are true:

  • Your entrance is very important. You have the first minute to make a good impression. Be aware of your body posture, stand up straight and greet everyone present, repeating their name to be sure you have not misheard.
  • Sit comfortably in your seat and use positive eye contact equally amongst the panel as much as possible.
  • You should be prepared for any question with a positive statement and try not to say anything negative - even about your previous employer. "I can't", " I won't" or "I've never" are bad phrases with which to start a sentence. If asked, for example, if you have experience in a duty that you have not completed before, a good answer is “ Although I have been trained for this area it is not something I have had the chance to deal with before.” This statement shows that you are qualified to do the job and are looking forward to the chance to put your skills to the test.

    Take a few seconds to think before you answer any question - this may make all the difference.
  • The best way to impress an employer is to show your knowledge of the company, the next best is to be inquisitive and to ask questions. It is also important to be enthusiastic - this can go along way to getting the job even when better CV’s are on the table. Employers want to see how excited you are about the prospect of working for/with them.

Courtesy of Leisure Jobs UK

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