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How To Succeed In The Interview

How To Succeed In The Interview

This article has been written in partnership with Interview-Me, helping students and job seekers excel in the interview.

The Secret to any Great Interview is Preparation

First of all big congrats, your CV did the trick and you got noticed by the employer! Now all you have to do is get through the interview process and you're one stage closer to getting offered the job.

The interview is designed so the employer can find out more about you and see if your skills, strengths and experiences can translate into their business. Another huge part of the interview is fit and whether or not you will click with the other team members. There is so little time to impress, meaning you need to have done your preparation before the interview to ensure you can showcase why you are the right person for the job.

So what do you need to do to prepare for an interview?

Being prepared is essential for any interview and the preparation needs to begin as soon as you have the invite. This checklist will help relieve those nerves and allow you to put your best foot forward. 

Write a List of Strengths

1)  Write a List of Strengths

First thing to do is sit down with a pen and paper (tablet and computer if you're more technical) and start compiling a list of your strengths, start with 10 but you can add to this. 
Then start reading this list to yourself, the repetition will help it sink in and if nothing else it will be a great ego boost before walking into the interview.

If you're struggling with the list why not ask a colleague or a friend to give you their suggestions. They might pick up on things you didn't notice and it is always good in an interview to not only talk about what you think but add "my colleagues would say I was..."

Have Examples Handy

2) Have Examples Handy

Always have examples handy, ready to back up the skills you have discussed in the interview, it is important that these example are tailored to the job specification you have applied for. Home in on what your responsibilities were in a particular situation as well as how you worked with your colleagues. Try not to constantly say "we did" but disguise your part in the example by changing from "I was responsible for" to "I worked with XX to achieve XX." (There may be no I in team but a recruiter isn't interviewing the whole team)

When using the examples in your interview ensure that they complement the questions being asked, there is nothing worse than an applicant that is so rehearsed they just ignore the question.

Research the Company

3) Research the Company

You should have read the job specification before applying but there is no harm in rereading this a few times over. You need to know the role inside and out and be ready to feed your knowledge of the company into your answers throughout the interview. 

Have at least one question prepared that relates to the company's goals or culture, this will show your passion for their organisation. 

*TOP TIP* Arrive early to the interview and check out the literature in the company's reception, usually the company notice boards or promotion literature will hold some good information you can use in your interview.

Dress to Impress, Plan an Outfit

4) Dress to Impress, Plan an Outfit

Have your outfit picked and ready to go, no one needs any clothing dramas on the morning of your interview. Your outfit should be professional and if in doubt ask the employer what attire is appropriate for the interview they are conducting. 

You want your first impression to be good so a smart appearance is the best way to go for any interview. 

Know where you are going

5) Know Where you are Going

You can't just rely on the Sat Nav all the time so instead plan the best route to get to the interview. There is no excuse for lateness at any interview so leave plenty of time to get there and try and arrive at least 10 -15 minutes in advance. Arriving early will reduce your nerves and give you a few minutes to relax before the interview begins.

Although arriving early is a good thing, don't be too early as you can't just sit in reception for an hour.

Pack your bag (just like the first day of school)

6) Pack your Bag (just like the first day of school)

Find and pack all the documents you require including your CV and portfolio of work if applicable. Make sure you have everything that was requested by the employer whether that be ID or proof of address. Don't let your first impression to the employer be that you can't follow simple instructions.

Leaving everything you need by the door will mean you can't forget it. 

Have a Practise Run

7) Have a Practise Run

Practise definitely does make perfect, so before any interview try having a rehearsal. Most interviews will have standard questions and there are certain factors you need to be considering throughout the interview. 

The ideal option is to get expert help and with Interview-Me you can practise your interview over SKYPE, get the feedback you need to ace the interview and all from someone with 20+ years experience in human resources (so basically someone who knows what they are talking about.)

Click the link to book your interview.

Have you ticked off all the boxes above?

In the interview you need to impress the recruiter and the best way to do that is to form a connection and make the interview almost conversational. 

It is natural to feel nervous but it is crucial these nerves don't take over in the interview and with proper preparation you will feel more relaxed and ready to take on the interview. 

You can always ask for help and companies such as Interview-Me can provide you with that expert help to get you interview ready.

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