We only get a few seconds to make a first impression, and a job interview is often your only opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer in person. Needless to say, it’s pretty important to get it right!
That’s why Hooray recruitment in Cheltenham has taken some time out to pass on its expert advice to SoGlos readers. Describing itself as ‘the good recruitment company’ Hooray, ensures each of its job seekers is given bespoke interview training ahead of their interviews.
Speaking to SoGlos, Richard Arthur, Hooray’s managing director and founder, gave us his tips on how to ace your next interview, and the lowdown on the biggest interview mistakes he’s seen during his career.
I think the old adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is a very good one.
Preparation is absolutely vital ahead of an interview. So that’s things like looking on the company’s website and getting a feel for what they’re about; knowing the job description inside out, back-to-front and upside down is essential; and also, candidates really need to match their CV to the key points on the job description and person specification.
Doing that means you can give clear evidence and examples of things you’ve done in the past that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Always listen to the question that’s being asked. Particularly when people are nervous, they’ll be gearing themselves up to answer the question before it’s even been finished and I’d advise people to consider their answers for a while before they start talking. Remember it’s okay to pause.
Even if the workplace that you’re being interviewed at is quite informal, it’s important to go smartly dressed for the interview. Sometimes people go to interviews in jeans and trainers, which doesn’t set the best impression.
Make sure you have relevant questions to ask at the end of your interview. If it’s not been covered during the interview you could ask things about the training and support that’s available. If it’s appropriate, it can be helpful to ask about the long-term progression and career prospects in that company too.
One of the services we offer to candidates is a full in-depth face-to-face interview preparation session – that’s even for senior candidates.
If they think they’re experienced in interviews, we’ll still ask them in for a preparation session, because we may be able to raise things that they hadn’t thought of – giving them the best opportunity to get the job.
The service we offer is also particularly useful for younger or more junior candidates, as it helps them prepare for the kind of questions they’ll expect to get in the real interview. We ask them ‘how do you feel about interviews’, ‘what are your concerns’ and find ways to make them feel the most confident.
We always encourage them to be themselves in the most positive way, so focussing on the things you can do and can offer, and not the gaps you might have.
I’ve heard of people who’ve taken their partners along to interviews with them, probably because they’re nervous, but obviously it’s our job to ensure that candidates feel prepared, so that’s not happened to us here at Hooray!
Being late is a big one. Don’t be late!
Another thing to remember is to be prepared for each specific interview, rather than an interview generally. So, make your preparation specific to the particular role you’re being interviewed for.
Remember that it’s normal to be nervous, and most people will feel that way.
It sounds silly, but try not be nervous about being nervous, the chances are that you won’t come across as nervous to the interviewer as you think you will.
Similarly, you can come across as over-confident in an interview, so sometimes nerves are a good thing as they show that you care.
If you’ve been knocked back a few times, it can be helpful to do some rehearsing with a parent, or friend who works in a business role and do a trial run. They might be able to pick up on things you won’t notice when you’re preparing alone.
Thursday 29 November 2018
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