Job Interview Tips And Advice
Jackie Brown Medical Ltd are recruitment experts with years of interviewing experience behind us. Here we offer interview advice on how to succeed in interviews.
First Interview Tips
Well done! The company you applied to have shown their interest in you by inviting you for a job interview. Now it is your job to prove that you are worth meeting. These tips will help.
You can never be too prepared for your interview. Research as much as you can about the company you are to be interviewed by and about the job itself.
The internet is an obvious starting point. Most companies will have a website from which you can learn a great deal about the company. This is the very least a company will expect an interviewee to have done.
It is noticeable to a company when an interviewee has gone out of their way to prepare for an interview. Examples of this would be researching competitors, talking to people working in similar roles or even talking to people within the company itself. This shows effort, initiative and genuine interest in this role.
You also have the job description which spells out exactly what your interviewers will be looking for. When going through the job description, focus on your strengths where they relate to requirements for the job. Prepare examples of how your previous experience shows that you meet those requirements. For example: If the job description states that candidates should be highly organised and proactive then it is not enough to say that you are. You need to demonstrate this by explaining how you went about organising your day in your previous job and highlighting any innovations in procedure that you instigated or were involved with. Show how you adapted to changes and how your organisational abilities improved productivity.
Try to have several examples ready for each point in the job description.
Go through your own Curriculum Vitae. It is about you and therefore you should be an expert on it. The last thing you want is to be tripped up by not being able to explain a gap in employment or why you left a company four years ago. Be ready to extend what you have written in your Curriculum Vitae with examples.
Practice your interviewing technique
You may feel foolish sitting in front of a mirror and interviewing yourself but it will give you great insight into how you will come across to an interviewer (or interviewers). Preparing interview questions that are likely to be asked and answering them while watching yourself allows you to adapt your responses until you are happy with both your answers and presentation. In many ways the real job interview itself will feel less daunting after this process.
Using the same list of questions ask a friend to interview you too. Tell them that they do not have to stick with the list of questions you provide and give them a copy of your CV and time to prepare. Pick somebody who will give you honest helpful advice.
The time has come for the interview itself. The interviewer(s) will already have formed an opinion of you based on your CV and as soon as they meet you they will be trying to confirm that opinion. You only have seconds to make your mark. This is where confidence and presentation come in. It is not a problem to be nervous, interviewers expect that. It goes towards showing enthusiasm for the job. Make eye contact, smile and give a firm (though not aggressive) handshake. Show enthusiasm for the job throughout the interview and listen to the interviewer(s).
Listen to each question very carefully. Count to three before you answer and above all make sure you answer the question that was asked. One of the most frustrating things for an interviewer is the number of interviewees that do not answer the questions asked.
Some dos and don'ts interview hints and tips.
- Find out the location of the interview and the name(s) and position(s) of the person(s) interviewing you. If possible make a practice run to the location before the interview date to ensure that you have no problems finding it.
- Be punctual. Aim to be 15 minutes early.
- Bring a copy of your CV with you.
- Be well presented - Professional and polished is effective. Dark suits and white shirts are always sharper.
- Be passionate about the role.
- Make eye contact.
- Wait to be offered a seat before sitting.
- Listen to the interviewer(s)
- Keep your answers relevant and interesting.
- Speak in a measured manner. Do not rush your answers but do not overdo it and risk looking uninterested.
- Answer the question you are asked.
- Have questions prepared to ask the interviewer(s). For example: start date, training, or further clarification on an aspect of the job.
- At the end of your interview thank the interviewer(s).
- Make the interviewer work too hard. Avoid monosyllabic answers.
- Use words like "challenge" or "nice". Employers have heard these words too many times before. Try to be inventive with your language.
- Do not arrive tired. Make sure you are well rested before an interview because employers can pick up tiredness as apathy.
- Interrupt the interviewer(s).
- Be negative about current or previous employers. This shows a lack of loyalty and reflects badly on you.
- Talk for too long about subjects that will be of little relevance to the job you are being interviewed for.
- Smoke directly before the interview.
- Lie. If you are found out it could mean the end of the interview or worse still be grounds for sacking you if it is discovered after you get the job.
- Bring up the subject of salary or benefits at a first interview.
What to do at a Second Interview
In a second interview it is usual to be interviewed by at least one new interviewer. Treat it exactly the same way as the first interview. Do not be afraid of repeating yourself since what you said and did in the first interview has brought you this far. If there is a new interviewer they will not have heard what you said the first time (although they will have had access to the interview notes and talked to the other interviewer(s).
Get as much feedback from the first interview as you can before going for the second interview to enable you to finely tune how you present yourself or address anything causing hesitation on the part of the interviewing company.
This is an area where going through a good recruitment agency can really pay off since they can ask details from an employer much more readily than you can. Remember, you do not have to be perfect, just better than the other candidates!
If you have any questions that remain unanswered contact the recruiter that you are dealing with in relation to the job. Our recruiters are an excellent source of further information since they have extensive knowledge of the companies they are recruiting for and years of experience in recuitment to call on to assist you.
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