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Top 10 Tips to Ace that Interview

interview-tips

Job Interview Tips

So you’ve applied for a job and now they have called you for an interview, what next? Well, firstly congratulate yourself on making it through to the interview stage. This isn’t a given and it means the employer has decided you meet all the criteria needed for the role. They were obviously impressed with your application or CV and now they want to meet you in person. However, for many of us an interview is a daunting prospect and it can be difficult to know what to do next. To help you get prepared and aced that interview, here’s our Top 10 Tips to Ace that Interview.

#1: Ask about the Interview

When you are contacted about the interview you will be asked to confirm your attendance. Use this opportunity to ask your contact anything you need to know about the interview. Great things to ask about are; what format the interview will take, who will be on the panel, and do you need to bring anything on the day. This will help you in two ways; firstly the more you know about the process the less nervous you will feel, and secondly the more information you have the better you can prepare.

#2: Do Your Research

One of the biggest mistakes people make at any type of interview is being under prepared. Use everything you know about the role and the interview process to prepare yourself for the day. Good areas to research are; the employer, the area of work, who will be on the interview panel, and the interview format – if you are unfamiliar with it.

#3: Leave Time to Prepare

Every interview is different and depending on the type of role you will need plenty of time to prepare. Don’t leave all your prep to the last minute as you will be selling yourself short. Instead take between 3-5 days to fully prepare, this includes; doing your research, preparing answers, organising something to wear, and arranging transport.

#4: Dress to Impress

Depending on the type of role you are interviewing there may be an expected dress code. It is always worth checking with the HR department of the employer just in case. If there is no dress code then a good rule of thumb is to dress how you would normally dress if you were actually in the job but slightly smarter. So if you are going for a catering job, make sure your hair and clothes are neat and your hands are clean.

#5: Be Presentable

Something that can easily put interviews off is an unwanted odour. It might sound a little harsh, but if someone walks into an interview and they have a strong smell of cigarettes, alcohol or body odour, it can instantly put a panel off. That’s not to say it would ruin your chances completely, but don’t run the risk of a bad smell being the only thing an interviewer can think about.

#6: Rehearse Your Answers

Based on the job description try to think of 5-10 questions you are likely to be asked at the interview, as well as common questions about team work and time management. Think about what you are going to say, and even write your answers down. If you are feeling particularly nervous a great tip is to rehearse you answers out loud with a friend or in front of a mirror.

#7: Think Positively

If you felt a bit surprised that you have even been offered an interview, you might also be thinking that you don’t stand much of a chance of getting the job. Having a negative attitude from the start isn’t going to help with your interview performance. Just remember at an interview everybody has exactly the same opportunity, you have just as much chance of getting the job as any other applicant.

#8: Accept Your Nerves

Most people feel very nervous about interviews, for a lot of people they don’t even know if they will feel nervous or not until they are actually in the interview. Don’t feel embarrassed about your nerves, understand that everyone gets nervous and that employers and interviewers are used to seeing nervous applicants. Instead try to think of ways to minimize your nerves if and when they appear, like making a joke about being nervous, taking deep breaths or drinking some herbal tea.

#9: Always Ask a Question

At the end of almost every interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Always ask at least one question and make it a good one. This question is your chance to add extra value to your interview – plans a few questions to ask before the interview, don’t try to think of one on the spot as you might be too nervous. Ask a question that shows your intelligence and that you have really thought about the role. Avoid asking anything about salary, time off, parking spaces, etc. as it is almost always not the right time to do so.

#10: Arrive Early

Always avoid being late for interviews, its one of the worst things an interviewee can do. Aim to arrive around 20 minutes before the interview time you have been given. Make sure that you have allowed yourself plenty of time to get there and to park or find the building if you don’t already know exactly where you are going.

How to utilise social media in your job search

If you have been relying on Google during your job search and have subsequently struggled to achieve any success, now is the time to try an alternative.

Social media has fast become a part of our everyday lives, which employers, job seekers and recruiters are also making full use of during the recruitment process.

Take a look at the guide below to find out how you should be using social media in order to help you land the job of your dreams.

Social Media Guide

#1 Show yourself off

Almost all employers look at Facebook and Twitter profiles before deciding on whether to interview or hire a candidate. It is important to show your personality and interests on the platforms, while also demonstrating your experience and knowledge. However, finding the right balance is crucial.

While you may love heading out on the town every week, this is something that employers don’t need to see. Think about what posts you would be happy to share with them and edit your privacy settings to prevent potential employers from viewing anything that could deter them from offering you a job or interview.

#2 Take social on the go

Make sure you download apps for the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and set up push notifications. This simple step will allow you to remain aware of any updates or messages from employers that you like or follow, and to keep you in the know of any new positions that become available.

Alternatively, use Tweetdeck so that you are alerted whenever a certain hashtag is used, for example #jobsearch.

#3 Make your personal brand unique

Turning your job search into your own personal brand can help to make your application stand out from the competition.

Begin by inventing a slogan. Think about those used by the likes of Nike and Gillette which get straight to the point and clearly explain what the brand is all about. Yours should be around 5 or 6 words, and work to sum up why you are an ideal candidate. Begin by conjuring up descriptive words that best describe you. Avoid cliché words or phrases such as those highlighted in the guide above. Once you are happy with the slogan, add it to your bio sections on each social platform.

#4 Become a professional for your passions

Blogging has become popular over the past few years, so much so that many employers find candidates with their own blogs far more appealing.

A blog can help you to demonstrate your great passion for your chosen industry, while providing you with something to discuss during interviews as well as a platform to showcases your expertise. The more time you invest in your blog, the more effective it will be. It is recommended that you update your blog at least once a week, with all new posts promoted via links on social platforms.

#5 Last but not least – be patient and don’t lose hope

Incorporating social media into your job search is an extremely effective tool to use during the process, but utilising these platforms to the best of their abilities takes time and effort. While it won’t happen overnight, using social media can help you to build relationships with employers and potential work peers that could last a lifetime.

Author Bio

Rachel Campbell is a content writer for BCL Legal, recruiters specialising in pairing legal candidates with ideal employers, be it in-house or as part of a law firm.

Job Search Etiquette:

How To Change Jobs & Remain Professional

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Looking for a new job when you’re already employed can be a delicate balance. If you know that you’re ready to make a move there’s often a temptation to get out as soon as possible, particularly if you’ve run into any issues that are causing you to leave. However, burning bridges is never a good idea and when you’re changing jobs, the most important thing is to remain professional. Here are five tips for getting that changeover just right:

  1. Avoid talking negatively.

    When you’re going to interviews with other businesses, avoid talking negatively about the company that you’re leaving. Even if you’ve been badly treated, or you think the listening party might agree with you it doesn’t come across well to talk about hatred or dislike for the job that you’re leaving behind. Most employers will assume that they could also one day be on the receiving end of your vitriol and this will put them off.

 

  1. Don’t discuss your job search on social media.

    It can be very tempting to take to social media, to recount a funny interview or look for sympathy, in a particularly stressful situation but avoid it at all costs. Not only will this alert your current employer to the fact that you’re leaving, but it won’t impress a potential employer who could well be looking at your social media, as part of the interview process.

 

  1. Don’t carry out the job search at work.

    It’s bad etiquette to use work time that you’re being paid for, to look for another job. So, avoid browsing job search websites to look for other positions and definitely don’t start printing off CVs or filling out applications on your current boss’ time. This is not only unprofessional, but is the easiest way to alert your current employer to the fact that you’re looking around.

 

  1. Avoid confiding in colleagues about your job search.

    Work relationships are slightly unusual in that they often remain competitive, no matter how close you might become to those that you work with. It’s never a good idea to tell colleagues that you’re planning to leave as you might just end up confiding in someone who would benefit from passing this information on.

 

  1. Be professional once you’ve handed in your notice.

    You might be tempted to go a bit AWOL, once you’ve handed in your notice, but remember that you will need a reference from your current employer so you need to remain professional at all times. If you find yourself lacking in motivation, or feeling resentful about what might have happened in the past, then focus instead on the exciting new position and the bright future that you have ahead of you.

 

Author bio: Unity Recruitment are specialist recruiters, based in London, focusing on the highway and parking industry, commercial and general admin roles within large businesses. They have years of experience in guiding and advising candidates for a wide range of interviews.