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Hunter & Thompson: Common-sense Tips when attending Job interviews

The overview

These tips always seem very obvious, however its very surprising how common these mistakes are.

Always be on time when attending an interview, lateness will hinder your chances, first impressions always count. Using public transport can be difficult; traffic jams can be unexpected and slow moving, so leave plenty of time to get to your interview. A late excuse never works in your favour, no matter how reasonable your reason sounds.  Make sure you are professionally dressed to suit the job or role. Know the company your going to see, gather some information and dress to suit. You will only get one chance to make an impression, in most cases it is 4 seconds. So make sure your posture is composed, look and sound confident. We are all attracted to confidence.

Always be prepared

  • Look at the potential employer's website if they have one; look for reviews or events they have conducted. The internet is a good place to start. Make sure you do some research on the company before you attend your interview.
  • Get as much background information as possible from the consultant who has arranged your interview, clarify the role in detail by asking pertinent questions.
  • An example of pertinent questions is who is attending the interview, will it be two people or one, how many people am I in competition with etc.
  • Look for opportunities to highlight your skills and specialised knowledge, remember you are selling yourself to the potential employer.
  • If you are in the privileged position to have a contact at the same company, find out relevant information that could be useful in an interview situation, making sure they have a good reputation first.

Stay honest- do not lie

  • Do not lie about your skills, talent or specialised knowledge when interviewing for a role. Employers will now test to see if you have the knowledge so do not lie.
  • Remember, interviews for vacancies are about matching your needs with the potential employer.
  • When engaged in a conversation aim to be as specific about your achievements, particularly if you were able to solve a noteworthy problem.
  • Most employers will ask for specific examples of your knowledge of achievement within a particular working environment, aiming to ascertain how you coped with different situations.
  • Don't get diarrhoea of the mouth, and rattle on without thinking, this is costly.
  • Be as genuine, enthusiastic and positive as you can.
  • A big no is to criticise previous employers, even if you hate them, especially if you are working for a competitor in the same industry.
  • Focus on your own positive achievements and views.

Stay focused and calm

  • Your confidence will shine through when you are in control with the knowledge of the package you will bring with you to a prospective company.
  • Practice and rehearse the obvious questions, an example would be, what are your weaknesses? What were your reasons for leaving your last employer? Give me one good reason why we should employ you in this company?
  • Always ask questions, during the interview you will get the opportunity to ask questions – so be prepared and ask.
  • When asking a question try starting with who, what, where, when, and how, these are open questions designed to get the interviewer to talk more.
  • If they ask you about your weaknesses – relax, it is not a trick question, however you will need to answer the question well, like the scouts always be prepared to answer the question with confidence.
  • Always give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact at all times, act professional, and keep your posture upright. Always be prepared for the opportunity presented in front of you.