How to prepare for an interview
Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that almost half a million more people are employed in the UK than this time last year.
So there are opportunities out there and job hunters should be confident that, following their application, an interview could be just around the corner.
But getting an interview is only half the task and being well prepared will be crucial to your chances of getting the job done.
Award-winning agency Flair 4 Recruitment, based in Clifton, has teamed up with Jobsite to offer these tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
1. Ensure that you have made a note of the time and place of the interview, along with the name of your interviewer.
2. Seek out available company literature, such as an annual report. Go to your nearest reference library, read the
trade press, look on the internet or contact people you know in the industry.
3. Make a list of possible questions you might be asked and prepare your answers, such as: your strengths and weaknesses; a breakdown of the specific duties in your current role; your past achievements (work related and personal); reasons for leaving your current position (don't be negative); which aspects of the potential job appeal to you most.
4. Prepare some questions to ask at the interview, for example: what goals does the company have; where do they expect to be in five years time; how will this role develop; who are the company's direct competitors?
5. Make a good first impression – you never get a second chance – particularly if your potential position involves a degree of face to face communication with management. Take time to get your best suit dry cleaned and make sure your shoes are clean and your hair is tidy.
6. Try and be original - discuss points raised in their literature or in editorial you may have read in newspapers or in the trade press.
Leah Burrows, director at Flair 4 Recruitment, also offered advice for candidates during and following interview. “Being late is inexcusable,” she said. “So plan your journey in advance and give yourself plenty of time to overcome the hazards of train delays and traffic jams.
“Presentation is the key and creating a good rapport is important, so greet your interviewer by name, with a smile and a firm hand shake. Throughout the interview maintain eye contact with your interviewer, watch your posture and let your personality shine through.
“Don't waffle or avoid difficult questions. When you are asked questions, remember that this is an opportunity to sell yourself. And remember to ask the questions you prepared before the interview.
“If the interview is not going well, don't be put off, some interviewers use this as a test. Also, don’t ask about salary, holidays or benefits at first interview stage.
“If you are interested in the job, make sure you let the interviewer know before you leave by stating why you like the role, and thank the interviewer for their time.
“And be prepared for every eventuality! Occasionally clients may surprise us and offer you the position at the first interview. If you are happy with the details feel free to accept the offer.
“However, don't feel obliged to accept there and then if you feel uncomfortable - speak to us first.
“After the interview, review your own performance - did you answer questions correctly, did you let your personality shine through? And contact your consultant immediately with your interview feedback. We cannot contact the client until we know your views.
“Don't despair if you do not get the job. Treat every interview as experience. Remember that practice makes perfect.”