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Preparing for interviews

Here’s some advice on preparing for that all important interview…..

Here are some extra hints and tips to help you prepare before the interview:

  • Download this checklist to help make sure you remember everything you need to do
  • Do some research about the organisation beforehand – look on their website, annual report, find out the size of the organisation, how many employees it has, what it’s main functions, products or services are, how long the company has been around, is it a local company, a national organisation or a franchise for example etc.
  • Re-read your application/CV and the job description
  • Spend some time beforehand thinking about the types of questions they may ask, and then mentally preparing some suitable answers. Download some sample interview questions to get an idea of what might be asked
  • Write these down as this can often help you to remember your answers
  • Think of some examples to demonstrate your answers – think back to your work experience, time spent at school, any voluntary work or time spent on projects or in learning – e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award, Prince’s Trust, Adventure Unlimited
  • Be clear about what Employability Skills you think you have and how these will be useful to your future employer – read  about What employers want to help you identify your Employability Skills and Qualities
  • Think of some questions which you would like to ask them – Suitable questions could be:
    1. How big is the team in which I will be working?
    2. What training and support will I receive?
    3. Will there be any opportunities to progress in the company?
  • Make sure your first questions are NOT about how much pay you will get or how long your lunch break will be! This does not give a good impression about your motivation and commitment! Only ask about pay and breaks if this has not been explained to you in your interview.
  • Appearance and dress – you don’t have to buy something new but you do want to look like you have made an effort – smart, clean and ironed.  Here’s some advice on dressing for an interview from the Telegraph.
    1. Invest in a new interview outfit
    2. Look like someone who already works there
    3. Pay great attention to grooming – hair etc
    4. Ensure briefcases and handbags are smart
    5. Get objective feedback from others
  • Location and time of interview – check the address and know where it is on a map. Plan ahead how you will get there and check buses, train times etc.
  • Have an early night and don’t oversleep! You want a clear head and plenty of time before the interview.

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