Recently I have been asked by a multitude of people how should they prepare for an interview. Not all of us are well versed and some candidates may not have had an interview for perhaps 5+ years or it may be someone moving into a more office based role from the shop floor.
Here is my checklist for the basics of preparation I go through with my candidates, to give them the best possible chance to secure the job they want.
Know your CV
Feedback from my clients on one of the pitfall a candidate faces is not knowing the detail of their CV’s. Your CV is your billboard and enables you to showcase your professional career, have a friend family member or significant other run through this. Ask questions on each job e.g. dates of employment, your job role, and achievement. It is worth mentioning the etiquette surrounding taking a copy of your CV, yes the employer will have a copy but it is always polite to take a copy for yourself and another 2 for potential interviewers.
Imagine it this way, would you buy a car from a car from a sales person who didn’t know the details of the car? No, so why would an employer hire someone who doesn’t know or hasn’t researched their business? Company websites provide a plethora of information, company history and product range. If you are able to get your hands on the product, visit a local distributor and you can quiz them on the product and they will talk you through the features and benefits that you can relay in your interview.
What do you wear?
I am not one for clichés but one I do agree with is “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. Don your best business attire (I would avoid the wacky novelty ties bought last Christmas), people really do pay attention to what you are wearing as they see that before they even hear you speak. Upon seeing you, an interviewer is already thinking of how you would look meeting one of their customers. If you are waiting in a reception area do make the effort to engage the receptionist in some conversation, you would be surprised at how many of my clients will actually ask a receptionist what they thought of someone, a first impression as mentioned before does count. One small faux pas that people sometimes forget is chewing gum, yes we are no longer in school but please throw it in the bin before you go in! Another point to mention if you are a smoker, avoid that last minute one to settle the nerves as it can be off putting to a potential employer.
Always remember you are there because of your skills within that arena, or through a recommendation of your ability. Greet people with confidence, a smile and good eye contact (you don’t need to shake hands with the grip of Mike Tyson however). Believe in your own ability, you are selling a product that you know better than anyone else and that is you.
For more advice on how to navigate the interview process, call me on 07960 046131. If you are looking to secure that dream job before the new year, now is the time to act.