Interview Do’s and Don’ts
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early
- Do your research – Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you’ve done your homework on things like their latest product launches/market share/competitors.
- Look the part -Appearances shouldn’t matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you’ve even uttered a word.
- Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes fit correctly and that your accessories are subtle. Dressing one level above the job you’re applying for shows a desire to succeed.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake
- Wait to be offered a chair before sitting down and sit up straight throughout
- Remain positive and alert. Even if the interview appears to be going badly
- Show tact, maturity and courtesy
- Look the interviewer in the eye when talking to him
- Let the interviewer lead the interview early on
- Keep an attitude of “what I can do for the company”
- Try to build a rapport with the interviewer
- Stress your positive points that are relevant and demonstrate past achievements
- Relate your answers so they are relevant to the position, company and industry
- Demonstrate that you have done your research
- Show confidence and poise
- Ask questions –
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job, and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company.
- Look interested throughout the interview and listen carefully to all questions asked.
- Tell the truth – if you don’t have experience in a certain area be honest. Don’t try to blag – it’s likely you will come unstuck later on.
- Consider beforehand what information you would like from the company and, if this has not been covered during your interview, ask the relevant questions at the end.
- Show enthusiasm for the role and the company.
- If you like the sound of the job – say so!
- Try to impress on the interviewer that you have enjoyed the meeting, thank them for their time and shake hands
- Try and monopolise the interview
- Answer all the questions with a yes or a no. Try to give examples and explanations wherever possible
- Smoke just before the interview or chew gum during!!
- Lie – answer all questions truthfully
- Go off on a tangent – be concise and to the point giving adequate depth to your reply without waffling
- Make derogatory remarks about your former colleagues or employers
- Over answer questions, you can lose sight of the actual question and end up losing direction in the interview
- Be overbearing or over aggressive
- Be evasive: make sure you explain facts and figures in your career history
- Show lack of interest or enthusiasm
- Lack confidence
- Demonstrate a lack of preparation for the interview
- Keep it succinct
Usually a CV should be no more than two pages. Employers spend, an average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV, and a surefire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, to the point.
- Tailor it
We’ve all done it. Whizzed the same CV out to lots of employers to save time. It is better to take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them.
- Include a personal statement
Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job.
- Don’t leave gaps
We are a cynical bunch and leaving obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers suspicious – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it.
- Keep it current
You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important.
- Proof read
It is essential to ensure there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes
- Tell the truth
Everyone lies on their CV, right? NO! Stop! Blatant lies on your CV can land you in a whole heap of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be VERY awkward!
MSA! – Made, Saved, Achieved. Give specific examples of your achievements and be prepared to back these up as necessary
- Make it look good
We live in a world where image is everything, and that also goes for your CV. Take some time to pretty it up… Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving plenty of white space around text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye.
- Make it keyword friendly
A lot of organisation and agencies use software to make initial CV matches so ensure you optimize your CV to be found by using keywords.
Hopefully this helps but feel free to call one of our consultants who will happily offer their expertise with any of the above points