Posted 01.04.19

Earlier this week we gave you the first part of our definitive guide to interview preparation.

Here’s part two – prepare to be prepared.

Appearance counts.

Your appearance is the first thing people notice about you and will leave a lasting impression so getting it right is really important.

You need to feel comfortable as this will make you feel, and act, relaxed. If in doubt always go for a classic business suit in a dark colour. This conveys a serious approach but shows clean lines and can be bought inexpensively in all shapes and sizes, so ladies and gentlemen, you’re all covered. Either a crisp clean shirt and tie or smart top for a female will finish the look along with polished shoes and clean nails.

More specifically:

  • Ties – keep them sensible. No cartoon characters or strange shapes and colours
  • Facial Hair – this must be well-trimmed and clean to maintain the smart appearance
  • Make-up – keep it subtle
  • Piercings and tattoos – if they cannot be removed then keep studs small
  • Accessories – keep them to a minimum. Sometimes big earrings or chunky chains can be distracting for an interviewer
  • Odours – too much aftershave or too little deodorant can be very off-putting in an interview. Also smoking just prior to your meeting may leave a scent on you which is hard to get rid of and you don’t want to create the wrong impression.

Prepare what you want to talk about.

You can never guarantee what you will be asked at interview but we’ll help you prepare for some of the most common ones to come up. Having an idea of what could be asked and rehearsing your answers will give you greater confidence during the interview.

Prepare the questions you want to ask your interviewer. Remember that the interviewer knows that you will have been briefed on the job specification by your consultant so asking what the job is and how much the salary is will not be greeted with positivity.

Your questions are a chance to sell yourself so asking what makes their best person so successful or what background their top person came from gives you a chance to match your skills and experience with what they have already confirmed is a successful person.

  • Write down your questions and take them into the interview. This allows you to relax and not have to remember everything you want to ask, as often this section of the interview is left until near the end. It also shows that you have prepared in advance even if your questions get answered early on in the meeting.
  • It is always useful to know the reason the job has become available. This will give you a number of different avenues to pursue when asking questions. Is it a competency-based interview? If so then your consultant will be able to work with you to prepare the right kind of answers. This is a specific technique so we can help you get it right!

In closing.

Know how you will close the interview.

Finding out what reservations or concerns an interviewer has about you before you leave you an opportunity to sell against them and hopefully overcome them to leave a positive image of you in their mind.

You will want to know timescales and decision making processes so your consultant will spend time making sure you know how best to close your interview depending on the type of position you are applying for.

Lastly, smile, have positive body language and shake hands confidently with your interviewer. Good eye contact puts both of you at ease, builds a relationship and sets the scene for a great interview. You have done the preparation so you are set up for a great interview!

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