Before working in recruitment I worked as a National Careers Advisor. I helped people look for work, build their CV’s and gave advice on how to ace an interview. I'd love to share my knowledge with our candidates and potential candidates so they have the best chance at having a successful interview.
Having an interview can be nerve-wracking and quite scary! So keep on reading if you want to hear my top tips to walk in and out of that interview with confidence!
Confidence is key. Walk into that interview as if you already have the job. Even if you are terrified, try not to let that show. But don’t be over confident, there is nothing worse than acting like you know it all! There is a difference between having confidence in yourself and having a big ego. Find that happy balance, this will give the interviewer more trust in you and remember, you are competing against other interviewees.
Research. Look into the company that you want to work for; they are more than likely going to ask you what you know about them and you don’t want to be caught off guard. See if they have other branches, what the company does, how many employees they have, any awards they have won etc. All the relevant information will be on their website and if not, there is nothing wrong with calling before an interview and asking ‘can you please tell me a bit more about your company’ or ‘where can I find out some more information about your company’. It shows you are keen and dedicated and genuinely interested in the company.
Ask questions. At the end of an interview the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions. Don’t say no! Always have at least 1 or 2 questions planned to ask at the end. For example; will I be working in a team or on my own? How many employees do you have? What can I expect to be doing on a daily basis? What will my targets be? Don’t ask questions they have already answered during the interview, unless you really aren’t sure. This shows you are keen to learn more about them and how you could develop the role.
Try not to talk about money. This shouldn’t be discussed until you have been offered the job. Unless the interviewers mention salary, you should not bring this up yourself. This is normally discussed at second interview stage or when you are offered the role. So don’t panic if you are worried it hasn’t been mentioned.
Be prepared. Always take your documents; it is good practice to always take a copy of your CV and cover letter. Also take a folder with all your documents such as passport, NI number, driving licence, proof of address etc. just in case! Find out what type of interview you will be attending, is it a telephone interview, panel interview, group interview, competency based, one to one? Be on time, if you don’t know where you’re going, go to the location beforehand so you don’t get lost on the day. Don’t be late, be at least 10 minutes early to your interview. It shows you are prepared and ready to go.
Dress sensibly. Dress as if you are walking into your first day at work. Smart suits, dress or blouse and skirt. Nothing revealing! Dress code will be provided by the company so find out what it is before the interview. Keep it smart and simple.
Get feedback. If you don’t get the job, then find out why. It may just be simply because another candidate suited the role more or had more experience or there may have been something you were not quite doing right. Find out why they didn’t choose you, you may be able to use this feedback for the next interview and will have a better chance at getting the job. There is always room for improvement.
I hope that’s given you some useful tips on how to prepare for your next interview! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any further advice.
And don’t forget to visit www.connect2kent.co.uk to browse our current vacancies for Kent County Council.
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