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Career Advice

Top Tips for Preparing for an Interview

So you got an interview – well done! But the hard work isn’t over yet. Make sure you’re prepared with interviewthese tips to give you a good chance of getting that job.

Know your CV
It may sound like a no-brainer, but you need to know exactly what is on your CV, so that when you are asked about it you don’t need to back track.
This is especially true for anybody who has multiple versions of their CV. If you have been applying for different jobs with different job spec-appropriate points on your CV, make sure you read up on the one you gave to this particular employer before interview. It will save you embarrassment and make you feel much more prepared

Know your cover letter
Again; when offering different versions of your CV, you will have given out different cover letters. Make sure you know exactly what you said in this cover letter. You will need to relay evidence of your claims, so make sure you have the appropriate work scenarios already planned out to tell.

Read up on the job specification

If there are any aspects of the job specification you don’t understand, look it up. Being prepared makes you look much better in an interview situation. If you have any previous experience in any of the job specifications, make sure you have the appropriate evidence ready so you don’t get caught out by a question you don’t understand.

Read up on the company
You will need to know:

  • Exactly what the company does
  • What are the company’s core strengths
  • Where they are in their field
  • What makes them different

You will also need to prepare an informed reason for why you wish to work there. Don’t just give a generic answer; look up on the company and make a personal, individual reply.

Think of what you will be askedjobdescription
It’s difficult to know exactly what you will be asked during interview, but you can make an informed guess by looking up on the company and researching standard interview questions.
Don’t make it too personal. If an employer asks you to tell them a little about yourself, make sure the answer is relevant. Talk about what led you to apply for this job, and what aspects of the job spec interest you.
If you are going for a job which requires a specific set of skills, make sure you have answers to skill-specific questions.

Most common job interview questions are:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Describe a situation where you worked in a team/ resolved an issue
  • Do you have any questions?

Think of questions you want answered
An employer will usually ask if you have any questions. Showing an interest in the company is key to a successful interview, so set out a few questions to ask after or during the interview.

Get down everything you want to say during the interview. Now practice answering those most common questions, out loud. You’ll feel much more confident when it’s time for the interview.

Samantha McGawley, Head of Marketing at Online Resourcing, said:  “Interview preparation can be a daunting task, but one piece of advice we say to candidates is to start from the job specification. You need to know exactly what it is you will be doing and what the employer is looking for in order to answer any question thrown at you. It is remarkable how many candidates can talk for hours about what they do now but are unable to say what they would do should they be successful in their job application. Start with the spec and show your future employer why and how you will add value to them.”

Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching.


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