INTERVIEW ADVICE

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How to prepare for interview
Make sure you know exactly where the interview will take place and the name and position of the person you are due to meet. Work out your route in advance and allow a generous margin of error in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Have the telephone number of the company handy so that you can let them know if you are running late - this is generally forgiven where as unannounced lateness generally isn't.

Find out roughly how long the interview will take and arrange other appointments accordingly - don't leave your car on a meter and end up worrying more about being clamped than getting the job.

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Research
Where we can, we include company information to help you prepare for your interview and better understand the company and the work it produces. However, you may find that digging a little deeper also boosts your confidence at the interview. Being even a little knowledgeable demonstrates to the interviewer that you have gone to the trouble to see whether you'd fit into the team and make a successful 'career' out of a 'job'. Make sure you ask intelligent questions but not of the 'how much holiday' variety!

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Test yourself
Time and again interviewers ask the same general questions in addition to those of a more technical nature. Common are "Why are you interested in this position?" "Tell me about your current boss". "What are the most satisfying/frustrating things about your current employment?" "What are your strengths/where do you think your weaknesses lie?" "Why do you think we should give you this job? "Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time?" Learn them, prepare your answers, practice them on friends.

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First Impressions
You only get one chance to make a first impression …. So make it a good one! . If you look untidy that's how you'll be remembered and first impressions really do count. Always wear a suit and tie or neat skirt/dress and polish your shoes. Even if you are attending a second interview and you know the organisation allows less formal work dress, maintain a professional/formal approach, as you don't know who you may happen to meet, the Managing Director perhaps!

It may sound obvious, but be civilised and remember your manners. Shake hands firmly with people you are introduced to and when you leave. If you are offered a coffee say your pleases and thank yous, but keep it natural.

Be assertive but without the aggression which can sometimes accompany this characteristic if it is uncontrolled.

Find the right tone in which to present your positive aspects. You have to talk about your achievements to show you are the right person but do it without being boastful. Under no circumstances should you spend a significant portion of the interview running down your current employer - this is viewed as negative.

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Turn weaknesses into strengths
Its not a good Idea to pretend you haven't got any weaknesses because everyone has some. On the other hand, don't put yourself down, because you could be talking your way out of a job. Discuss your weaknesses as though you have recognised them and strive to overcome them. "I used to have bad time management, now I prioritise my workload first thing every morning". "I like to take control and be involved in everything. I sometimes find it hard to delegate but when I have the results have been positive." Try to choose weaknesses which have a positive "flip side" e.g. I am obsessive about time keeping which other people can find annoying in some situations.

If you lack technical strength in a particular area don't attempt to bluff but admit; "no, that isn't my strongest area, but I'm a very fast learner and willing to work in my own time to develop those skills ".

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Have a positive attitude
Above all, don't wait until after the event to decide that you wished you'd tried harder to get the position. Always go in with the intention of getting an offer, only then do you really have the chance to weigh up how this opportunity compares with others. Many people, with the benefit of hindsight, have regretted they didn't take a particular interview sufficiently seriously - don't let yourself be in this "if only" category!

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What questions should ask?
Choose questions which allow you to demonstrate your flair and acumen for the job role and show a genuine interest ion the direction of the company.

Ask about the interviewers own progression within the industry and the company and how they arrive at their current position.

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And don’t forget to ask for the job ............... After all ...... That’s why you are at the interview ... isn't it????