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Preparing for an interview

Introduction

It’s normal to feel nervous when you have an interview because you want to do your best. With preparation and practice you can get the better of your nerves and give yourself the best chance of getting the job. Read these guides to see how you can improve your performance.

 

Do’s and don’ts

All interviews are different but there are some things you should always do, and some things you should definitely not do….

Do’s:

– Dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently

– Find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes

– Find out what kind of interview it will be so you can prepare

– Prepare answers for the main questions – for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job?

– Keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you

– Turn off your mobile phone: treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention.

Don’ts:

– Don’t be late

– Don’t swear or use slang words

– Don’t slouch in your seat or do anything that makes you look uninterested

– Don’t let your nerves show too much, it may affect your performance in the interview

– Don’t read notes from your CV – you should be familiar enough with your own history.

 

What will they ask?

Find out what employers usually ask and what they’re looking for in the answers.

– What are your strengths and weaknesses?

– What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

– What would your colleagues and friends consider as your best qualities?

– Why should we hire you?

 

Pre-interview checklist

– Find it how long the journey to the interview will take so you can plan ahead

– If you’ve been asked to do a written test or a presentation, you’ll need to call ahead to find out what facilities are available

– Research the organisation – impress the interviewers

– Plan what you are going to wear the night before, make sure you are neat and tidy even if the dress code is informal

– Prepare questions for the end of the interview – it is important to fully understand the organisation and the role you could have.

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