Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips And Strategies For Passing Any Job Interview

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In this careers article we are going to take a look at some important elements of preparing for a job interview.
Personal appearance
This carries far more weight than people think. First impressions are so important. It says a lot about who you are. Remember that you only get one opportunity to create a first impression. Unless it is specifically not required you should always dress in proper business attire such as a suit and tie or equivalent if you are female.
Your shoes must be clean too, and if you need a haircut, then get it done a few days before. I always advise people to prepare the night before the interview and lay everything out pressed and ready for the morning. Even down to your underwear, which sounds ridiculous, but it is all about limiting the stress that you will already be under on the day of your interview. The last thing you want to be doing is rushing around for your clothes or shoes on the big day only to find you threw away those smart shoes months ago!
Travelling to the interview
- How are you going to get to the interview?
- Do you know where you are going to park?
- Are the trains or buses running on time?
- Do you need a congestion charge ticket if in London?

These are all obvious questions but important nonetheless.
Again it is all down to preparation. Remember to take a contact number with you just in case you are going to be late for the interview. Then you can call them well in advance to tell them you will be late due to a breakdown or traffic congestion. If you are travelling by car, don't wear your jacket. Hang it up on a coat hanger so that it is not creased when you arrive for the interview.

This can be related to the above subject but is still just as important. Make sure you leave with plenty of time to spare before your interview. It's far better to arrive an hour early than 5 minutes late! I usually arrive 30 minutes before my interview and sit in the car and re-read the job description for the role or information about the company that I am applying to join.

The interview format
Just by virtue of the fact you have been offered an interview indicates that the employer believes you have the potential to work for them in that particular role. They will have already carried out a screening process based around the qualities and attributes relating to the post that you have applied for. The interview is designed so that the employer can see you in person and look at your demeanour, presence, personality and appearance along with the opportunity to ask you questions based around your application form and the role that you are applying for.

You may be competing against up to 30 applicants, so it is important that you stand out in a positive way and not for the wrong reasons. The basics of interview etiquette are key to your success, and you need to prepare for these as much as you do the interview questions themselves.
Most interviews will follow the following format:

Introduction and icebreaker
The interviewer should give you a brief overview of the interview and possibly the role that you are applying for. De pendant on the interviewer, you will be given the opportunity to tell the panel about yourself. Your response should be prepared beforehand and you can use this as an opportunity to sell yourself. You should cover brief topics relating to your experience, qualifications, outside interests and ambitions. If you tell the panel that in your spare time you are working towards a qualification that can relate to the role you are applying for then this can only be a good thing. Try to keep your introduction as brief as possible and don't go over two minutes in length.

The interview itself
This is the area in which you are asked a series of questions relating to your application form and the post that you have applied for. This is where you should do most of the talking and if you have prepared well enough you will be able to answer most questions, although it is not unusual to find yourself struggling to answer one or two. In this situation it is always best not to waffle. If you really don't know the answer to a particular question then just say so.

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