Articles - Advice on What to Do and What Not to Do!

what to do before the interview and advice on during the interview, find the best interview tips and advice

Advice on what to do and what not to do…………………

The day before the interview

If you are going for a job through an Agency make sure you have received all the information from the agency:

If not, you will still need this information:

Who to ask for, time and date of interview
Job specification
Company Website
Map or postcode to look them up

Research the company on the website.

People always come to us with the attitude "Help me find a job". For us to help you, you have to help yourself!
Perhaps print some information to take to your interview as this looks impressive and shows the client you have done your homework.

Make sure your shoes are polished, suit is cleaned, nails look tidy and polish is not chipped.

Do not drink lots of alcohol, go out partying and have an early night so you look refreshed. No gum chewing!!

On the day of the interview:

You are only going to have 7 seconds to make an impression as the client has partly decided on whether you are right for them by the time they collect you from reception.

Make sure you are shaved, hair is washed, tied back and tidy. Make up is on but not too much. Wear black or a blue suit and be conservative (a Bart Simpson tie will not do). Look classy. Smell nice but don’t over power with perfume/aftershave.

Ensure you research the company and work out what type of clothing would suit the organisation. If they have a brand image fit the bill.

On the way to the interview, PMA (a positive mental attitude) is so important. Imagine this is your journey to work, keep telling yourself you are going to get the job as this attitude will definitely get you the job.

Never smoke on an interview or just before going in as it can be smelt (if essential make sure you use breath freshener). If you are offered a cigarette refuse it ALWAYS (politely).

Arrive at the interview 10 minutes early. Whilst waiting in reception smile at everyone as you do not know who the Client is. If it is winter take your coat off and put it over your arm. Perch on the seat so that when the interviewer arrives, you are not faffing around trying to get up.

Shake their hand firmly as no one likes a weak handshake.

Thank the client for seeing you and tell them you have been looking forward to the interview.

Sit straight in your seat and put your arms in your lap. Look the client in the eye and if there is more than one interviewer include both of them in your response. Show enthusiasm as this is one of the main things that will get you the job. Show keenness in your eyes. Make sure to nod and smile when the client is explaining the role and the company.

If you are nervous, SAY SO, this is understandable, the interviewer will make allowances for it. They will appreciate honesty, it will also make everyone relaxed. They might be nervous too.

Explain how you are flexible, how you do not run out the door at 5.30pm, you don’t mind what you do, you always make a conscientious effort to use you initiative and learn new skills.

Never criticise your present employer. Express the fact you have enjoyed working there and you gained some great skills but it is time to seek ‘pastures new’. Nobody wants to hear negativity in your current role. They know you are not happy otherwise you would not be looking for a new job.

When asked about how you would deal with difficult people :
1. You listen to what they are saying, you do not interrupt and you empathise with their situation.

2. You explain to them what you are going to do and make sure they are happy with the situation before you leave them.

3. You constantly keep them informed of progress right through to resolution.

If you don’t know something you will ask someone, look on the internet and read a book. If the client has asked you a question you do not know then tell them what you would do is all of the above until you have found the answer. Never make things up the client will know that you don’t really know the answer and you will definitely not get the job.

If you are given a written test, don’t panic just answer the questions you know quickly and accurately. If you are nervous about tests just imagine you are at your desk at work and your boss has asked you to do something. With this attitude you will automatically relax.

Think of a situation you dealt with on your own – your best day at work – your worst day at work. What happened? How was the problem resolved? Was your boss proud of your achievements?

Have at least three weaknesses and always stress how aware you are of your weaknesses and that you are trying to make them into strengths i.e:

1. Over conscientious and can sometimes spend too much time on something.

2. Are you impatient to solve a problem when some things take a little time.

3. Need to prioritise what is important and what can wait.

If you are asked where do you see yourself in one year/two etc the answer to give is: I want to settle in a role and I hope my boss will see my potential and my attributes and guide me in the direction that suits my skills to compliment the department.

The approach of interviewers will vary but ultimately they will all be trying to achieve the same goal – to find out if you are suited to the job!
Some interviewers will be more structured than others and the same questions may be asked but in different ways:

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” could be asked as:

“Tell me about a great day at work recently.” And “Tell me about how you overcame a problem”….

Other questions include:

“What do you know about us?” – Always mention how you did your research!
“Tell me about a time when you had to juggle a number of conflicting priorities – what were they and what was the end result?”
“Tell me about how you build relationships” – this requires you to explain how you built trust etc with a colleague, boss or outside contact, not just about how good the relationship is now.
“Tell me about how you worked well as a team”
“Why did you apply for this role? /what about this job appeals?”

Questions for you to ask:

Never ask about training, money, benefits, holiday’s hours etc. At the end of the interview do say I am interested in the position and when are you going to be making a decision.
What qualities are you especially looking for in the successful candidate?
How does the company encourage their staff to stay?
Shake their hands again and thank them for their time and say how you enjoyed the interview.

Lastly good luck!! 
Show the client how good you are and be as confident as you can….

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