How to win at your Job Interview
How to win at your Interview - My Cardiff Jobs
If you have been invited for interview, rather than panic, the first thing you should do is relax and congratulate yourself on making it to the stage. However, you should not sit on your laurels for too long because if you really want to succeed at the interview then a fair amount of preparation is also required. The following are just some of the things you should consider.
Do your research and find out about the company you are applying for.
If possible contact someone who works for the company and get some inside information.
Find out more about the market / career sector in general, and not just the particular company you are applying to.
Think in advance about the types of questions you will be asked, and prepare answers. Some of the things you may wish to consider here are what strengths are required to do this job well. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and tried to pre-empt the questions.
Sometimes an interviewer will throw in a totally unexpected question. If you bear this in mind and it will not come as such a shock if this happens during your interview.
Think about questions you yourself want to ask at interview and memorize them. A note of caution however. It would be disadvantageous if you asked questions which were too obvious or irrelevant. So choose your questions wisely. If you ask relevant and intelligent questions then this will bode well. In addition to asking incisive questions regarding the post, smarter interviewees can also use the open questions forum to demonstrate the extent of their company research. An example of an intelligent question could be along the lines of; "I read in the financial times that this company is planning to invest £1m in training. Is this true?"
Practice asking and answering these questions with someone. Even better, ask them to assess your performance and give you feedback. You should repeat this process until you are confident. If no one is available to practice with then some companies provide a mock interview service and can give you feedback and advice. Even if you do not have the money to pay a company, and you do not have any friends to practice with, then even practicing in the mirror is better than nothing.
If the job is something you have not done previously then find out as much as possible about the requirements, and prepare to be questioned accordingly.
Remember that you are effectively selling yourself at an interview. During your preparation therefore you should re-examine the job specification and consider the traits and qualities the employer is looking for. If, during the interview, you can reinforce the fact that you possess such traits and qualities then this will help your cause.
In an interview it is always good to reassure the interviewer that you can do the job. Most people do this. However, if you can go one step further and give examples, or actually qualify/quantify just how well you can do the job then this is to your advantage. For example, rather than simply saying that you are good at sales it is more impressive to say something along the lines of; "I was top salesman as my last job and increased sales by twenty percent in the last twelve months alone."
You should remain focused during the interview and ensure that everything you say is consistent, because if there are any inconsistencies then the interviewer will probably pick up on it. For example, if you claim to be an excellent team player but only give examples of how you work independently and autonomously than this may plant a seed of doubt in the mind of the interviewer. You need to be able to backup any claims you make.
If you are too negative during the interview, it could be to your disadvantage. It is therefore important to keep the general tone positive; even if the interviewer brings up negative issues such as a previous redundancy, or employment gaps. It is not a case of turning every negative into a positive, because you have to be realistic too, but if you can demonstrate that you have experienced adverse conditions and have coped well or bounced back then this is to your advantage. Employers appreciate positive people who can handle stress and pressure.
This article is based upon extracts from a book by Paul Hichens who is the head consultant at leading CV writing company CV Consultants.co.uk.
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