The importance of preparing for Interviews

You only get one opportunity to make an impression, so give yourself the best chance possible!

Although there is currently a shortage of highly skilled talent within the South West market, the importance of preparing well for an interview remains paramount.If you are selected for an interview, you need to make sure you have prepared fully as the experienced interviewer will soon notice if you haven’t!

A few tips to aid interview preparation include:

Do you know where you are going? Check the business location and carry out a dry run – There is nothing worse than turning up late for an interview.You are immediately on the back foot and even if you have the best possible excuse, it could change the opinion of the employer before they have even started the interview! Although Sat Nav’s are great, they can often cause confusion if you are looking for an office on a busy industrial estate. Also consider the time of day that your interview is taking place as the volumes of traffic on the road vary throughout the day.

Cathedral Appointments tip - Do a dry run the night before so you know exactly where you’re going. Also book the time off work so that you’re not trying to juggle with the demands of your current role.

Do your Company Research – What do you know about our company?– This is a common first stage interview question. By doing considerable research on the company and illustrating that you have spent time not only researching the role but also the company that you are applying for will immediately make you stand out from the rest. A short five worded sentence in relation to this will not suffice and your lack of homework will quickly be exposed!

Cathedral Appointments tip – Spend time conducting research on the employers’ website. News and Blog sections are great areas to look at for up to date company announcements. The About Us section will quite often give you specific information on the person interviewing you. Also, Google the company for additional news, articles etc. Research for a Linked in company home page, Facebook, Twitter accounts etc – great for finding out more.What about competitors – find out who they are.Also use Linked in to research who is interviewing you – how long they have been with the company, where they previously worked, interests etc – knowledge is invaluable!

Re-read and familiarise yourself with your CV – Interviewers are bound to quiz you on the details of your CV; this could be anything from the dates of employment/ gaps in employment / performance against targets / reporting /deadlines etc – it is essential that you are able to give clear and concise answers to these questions. Any confusion can often upset the flow of the interview and the subsequent outcome might not be a successful one.

Cathedral Appointments tip – Re-read your CV and practise taking the employer through your CV beforehand. You can always use a family member to act as the interviewer! By practising you should prevent yourself from waffling, have answers prepared and generally show more confidence.

Dress to Impress! – First impressions still count especially at interviews. Business dress is considered to be the normal attire that should be worn to first interviews. If you haven’t worn your suit for a while then get it dry cleaned and give your shoes a quick polish – these small pieces of effort can show your desire for the job you are being interviewed for.

Cathedral Appointments tip – Try not to go over the top when applying perfume/aftershave and make up. A strong smell can be off putting to the interviewer! Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!