Careers Clinic: How To Nail Your Interview

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The job market is hot right now with employees moving jobs, companies and sectors at rates we haven’t seen here at A Career to Love HQ in years. If you follow the Grow Your Career Series you will have reworked your CV and Cover Letter by now. The next piece of the puzzle is getting the interview right. These are some simple things to do to help you stand out from the crowd.

The Basics

On time is expected but late is a fatal error. Arrive at your interview at least fifteen minutes early. Wear something you can sit and walk comfortably in. Keep makeup professional. Bring extra copies of your CV with you.

Know Your Audience  

Spend a few hours finding your way around the company website, follow their social media activity and learn about them by Google searching them. Speak to friends and contacts, and read current press releases. The more information you have about your audience, the more prepared you are.

Get Industry-Specific

Familiarize yourself with the wider industry both nationally and internationally. All companies are competitive and want to get ahead. By showing your interest in the broader trends in your industry, you stand to impress prospective employers.

Research The People Behind The Company

Research information about your potential bosses. Use Google to identify events recently attended, the professional bodies they actively take part in or projects/topics they have a particular interest in. This helps identify common ground between you and your boss during the interview.

Know The Company

Use social media to get a sense of who the company is and what type of people work there. Start out with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIN. Look at individual employee’s profiles, to get a sense of the kind of people working there and search for common hobbies or interests that you and someone on your interview panel may share.

Anticipate Questions

Spend time thinking about your answers to the most common questions. Tell us about yourself? Why do you want to work for us? Why should we hire you? Why are you leaving your current job? What are your management abilities? Are you a good team player? What’s your biggest achievement to date? What are your weaknesses?

Prepare Points, Not Perfect Answers

Rote learning of answers is not a good idea. Instead, develop points that help you answer the most common questions or variations of them. This way you can adapt that information to suit any question.

Back Every Point Up With Facts

Anybody can say I am a strong team worker, creative thinker, good with people or a problem solver. But if you follow each point with an example of something you did, achieved or initiated you provide solid examples and evidence to prove the truth of your statement.

Practice Out Loud

Answers may sound great in your head but then come out all wrong! The key to this is simple – practice out loud. Verbalize your thoughts frequently before the interview. Get a friend or a family member to ask you questions and practice your answers without a script.

Re-Read Your CV

Remember your CV got you the interview and is likely to form the basis of it. Read your CV over and elaborate on the points that you feel are important. As you wait to be called read over your CV a few times as this calms you down while also giving you something to focus on.

By Sinead Brady


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