After carefully following our ‘10 Tips For Creating a Great C.V. ’ the next step is to get prepared for interviews. At Sixth Sense Training HQ, we interview a wide range of candidates for a variety of roles within a vast number of organisations, so we see a lot of good and bad examples. The interview stage is the employer’s way of getting to know more about you so it is vital you prepare. However, interviews also give the applicant the opportunity to impress and to find out more about the job role and the organisation you would be working for. We understand that interviews can often be daunting experiences so follow our top 10 tips to ease your fears and show why you are the perfect candidate.
- Do your research– It is always encouraging to speak with proactive candidates who have taken the time to research the job role and have a rough idea what will be expected of them. Most businesses have an online presence, so have a look at their website, social media, and even any online news articles to see what you can find out about the company, what they do, and their company ethos. Also be sure to have a copy of the job advert and try to match your skills and strengths with the job duties they are looking for.
- Practise your responses- In an interview, you will be asked a series of questions in regards to your C.V. Interviewers are always interested to see what you can bring to the role, how you plan to do so, and what your future aspirations are. These questions can seem scary, however by practising your responses before attending the interview, you should be able to highlight your skills and provide evidence of how you might have previously used these skills to get tasks completed. Taking the time to practice really does pay off.
- Dress for the job you want– First impressions are important and interviewers always like to see candidates making an effort rather than turning up in their jeans and trainers. Now, we understand that not everybody owns a business suit, but a smart outfit and good personal hygiene are essential to show the interviewer you are professional, ready to work and be conscious of the employer’s environment and expectations of their workforce.
- Don’t just talk the talk– We love receiving C.V’s highlighting a variety of skills and achievements. But reading about them is not enough for us to put you forward to an employer. We’re not expecting candidates to carry out a series of tasks like The Apprentice, but we need want to know why these skills would be beneficial to the position you are applying for and how you implemented such skills in previous roles. Don’t just say you are good at something, justify it.
- Interview the Interviewer– Nine times out of ten, the positions we advertise for will intentionally not mention the salary or the company we are recruiting for. We always try to fill the candidate in on these factors during the interview, but it’s good to see a candidate being proactive and preparing questions on these factors for the interviewer. Good questions to ask are- What progression did the previous employee in this role make upon completion of my Modern Apprenticeship? And will similar opportunities be available to me?
- Be early– But not too early. We don’t want you lingering around aimlessly waiting to be seen. Arriving five or ten minutes before your scheduled time is perfect. As a recruiter, there is nothing more annoying than a good candidate who turns up late for their interview slot. Or doesn’t turn up at all. Being early shows the employer that you are serious about the position and sets a good example. Be sure to factor in travel time and if you are running slightly late, contact the employer to let them know. Use Google maps to plan your journey, know the building you are going to and allow extra time.
- Employers love passion– There is nothing better than speaking to somebody who is genuinely passionate about the position they are applying for. Show us why you are passionate and don’t forget that your body language and tone of voice go a long way to showing us this. Be as honest, open and positive with your interviewer as possible.
- Use Professional Language– In Scotland, many people tend to use slang in normal conversation- “aye, naw, ken, yous” etc. But no boss wants to hear this when they’ve just met you and if you are applying for a job that involves answering phones, dealing with the public or other businesses. Practise your interview voice, correct terminology and remember that your interviewer is a professional and not one of your mates or family.
- Breathe– Interviews can be a stressful experience, but try to relax and remain as calm as possible. Bring a bottle of water into the interview and take a second to regroup if it all gets a bit too much. Try to use your body language to exude confidence by maintaining eye contact and shaking the interviewer’s hand at the beginning and the end of the interview. If you prepare correctly then you should be confident of your chances.
- Follow Up– Although you don’t want to pester the interviewer for days after your interview and bombard them with phone calls when they are still trying to make their final decision. Instead, send them a short email within 24 hours thanking them for seeing you, reiterating your interest in the job and highlighting any additional details that may have been overlooked in the interview. It’ll keep you at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind and let them know you are serious about getting hired.
Good luck and remember that everything takes practice. If you aren’t successful at your interview, don’t get disheartened. You will get better with practice and eventually the right opportunity will come along!