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Successful interviewing – be prepared, here are some pointers!

When we put you forward for interview with one of our clients, the chances are that you will only have one opportunity to make a good impression. The attention to detail may be crucial in securing yourself the job that you want.

Below is some advice on how to prepare for that all important interview.

Preparation

Prepare yourself, interviews are two way conversations. They are both an opportunity for the interviewer to find out about you and whether you are a suitable candidate – and for you to find out about the company and if the position will provide you with the challenge and job satisfaction you are looking for.

Think about your skills, qualifications and experience and ensure that you can talk confidently about what is written on your CV. Particularly ensure that you can talk about your skills and previous experience that is relevant to the position you are going for.

Prepare some questions to ask at the interview. At the first interview it would be wise to restrict your questions to the details of the job and the organisation. Salary and benefit discussions are best left to us or until a second interview or a job offer is made. Asking questions about salary at first interview can be dangerous!

Do your homework

Find out as much as possible about the company prior to the interview. A good starting point is to look up their website and find out about the products and services they offer, the location of the office/s, and the number of employees. Ask us at Prime if we have any extra information on them.

Dress code and appearance

Ask your consultant at Prime Appointments what the client’s dress code is. For office work, smart business dress is a must. For different interviews you could easily be over or under dressed, make sure that you get this right!

First impressions are crucial!

Ensure you are well groomed with tidy hair, clean shoes and clothing. Do not wear too much perfume or aftershave and keep make-up and jewellery simple.

Travel and timing

Plan your journey beforehand to ensure you arrive a few minutes early. Allow for possible travel delays. Just in case of a major hold up, make sure you have your contact’s telephone number and our office number so that you can call if you suspect you will be late. Make sure that you know when you arrive who you are meeting and where.

Food and drink

Even if you are nervous try to have some food and drink as you normally would because we perform better when we are hydrated and have fuel in our tank!

The Interview

What to expect

Interviews come in many forms – most of ours are one to ones but there might be a group interview or an interview with 2 people. Ask your consultant what form of interview it will be beforehand and if they know the interviewer. You may be asked to take a test before the interview, depending on the type of organisation but your consultant will tell you before if you are going to be tested.

There are many different interview styles and each interviewer will have their own personal style. Some interviewers will fire questions at you while others will start off with an open question such as “tell me about yourself” leaving you to do most of the talking. The majority of interviews will be somewhere between the two. Be prepared for any style of interview. Try to prepare in your mind responses to certain questions.

Two-way communication

First impressions are so important. Dress has been mentioned, this is backed up with your interpersonal skills! When you meet the interviewer maintain good eye contact (even if you are nervous!), shake their hand in a confident meaningful way and show positive body language by sitting upright and speak clearly – don’t mumble!

Make sure the employer knows the benefits of employing you. It is important to sell yourself by telling the employer details of your relevant skills and experience that you have that will contribute to their organisation or company.

Try not to monopolise the meeting, keep your answers relevant and concise – let your interviewer talk.

Ask how the job contributes to the success, efficiency and profitability of the organisation.

Show that you have done some research by asking a question or questions about there company.

Don’t give negative information or bad news if you are not asked for it and don’t criticise previous employers or jobs. The key is to turn negative information into positive information. Be prepared for questions about your previous jobs!

The next steps

Agree exactly what the next steps will be, such as who will contact you to let you know if you have been successful and by when. You could also ask if there will be second interviews and who will conduct them although your consultant will tell you this. If you are really interested in the position make sure you tell the interviewer, make a positive impression on them.

After the Interview

Phone your consultant at Prime Appointments and tell them how the interview went. If something went really badly during the interview tell the consultant so that they can help you when they speak to the client. If the consultant is prepared they can repair any damage for you!

Salary/Package and negotiation

Hopefully you will know before you go the interview what the likely salary/ hourly rate is going to be. Never ask for more money than you know is on offer. If you do this at interview you are almost guaranteed to not be offered the job. Remember however that if you have made a really favourable impression at interview there may be a chance for your consultant to negotiate a better package for you.