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Your CV is great, your skills are bang on for the role, and you just had a very promising chat with the hiring manager. Sounds like you’ve got it in the bag. Of course, you still have to pass the final test: your interview. Failing to prepare properly is a sure-fire way to compromise your success. So refocus, and leave your competition by the wayside with these simple steps:
Know your stuff
Swot up on the mission, vision and values of your prospective employer. You’ll impress the interviewer if you familiarise yourself with the history of the organisation, its noteworthy achievements, recent press coverage and key financials. This understanding will also translate into your own well-informed questions at the end of the interview. Win bonus points by researching the industry too. It’ll show that you’re switched-on and enthusiastic about the field.
Plan your journey
Three words: don’t. be. late. Tardiness sets a terrible first impression, so make sure you know your route and set off in plenty of time. Arriving 10 minutes before you’re due will enable you to fully ready yourself. Any earlier and you’ll look over keen, any later and you’ll look blasé. Also have the details of the office handy in case traffic or train halts your progress.
Practise practise practise
The strength of your CV got you through the door, but you need to show you have the ability to back it up. Demonstrate your leadership skills, time management and technical proficiency by applying the STAR technique at interview:
Situation - give a brief outline of the situation
Task - describe what you needed to do as a result of the situation
Action - explain what you did, how you did it and why
Result - detail the outcome of your actions
Stay one step ahead by researching commonly asked questions and preparing solid responses. If you’re assured in your answers, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to shine, whatever the scenario.
Look the part
Your appearance is paramount to your success, so dress to impress. Simple but quality garments work best, projecting an image of capability and confidence. Unkempt attire speaks volumes, as do ill-fitting suits, dirty shoes and messy hair. Don’t let yourself down with a poorly planned outfit.
Thanking your contact for their time demonstrates both professional courtesy and commitment to the role. You may wish to recap your conversation, or include any information you felt wasn’t covered in the interview. Either way, it can make all the difference when it comes to standing out.
Are you interested in further career development tips? Read our other posts here.