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Interview Preperation
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Be prepared for your interview

Any prospective employer will already have read your CV before agreeing to interview you. They must therefore already think you look a likely good match on paper. The interview is now a chance for them to explore and hopefully confirm their initial positive thoughts. They will want to take a more in depth look at your skills and previous experience, whilst also getting a feel for how well you would fit into both their team and the broader company. This is also your chance to find out more about the role, the team and the company. It is important you do this so you can decide if the opportunity fits your own long-term career goals.

It is likely you have already devoted a lot of time and effort, both discussing the role with your recruitment consultant and writing (or tailoring) your CV for the position. You are now going to invest more time and money actually travelling to and attending the interview. It would therefore seem remiss not to spend just a little more effort now, making sure you are best prepared. Putting in the pre interview groundwork now will make you come across more professionally and help you to guide the interview where you want it to go. It will also make you feel and behave more confidently, which in turn will probably make the experience more enjoyable for both you and the interviewer. Ultimately it will greatly improve your chances of winning the job.

Below are a few suggestions to guide you in this preparation:

Know yourself and your experience:

  • Know your CV. It got you an interview. You should know it back to front and expect anything in it to be discussed at interview.
  • Think which previous jobs or projects from your past will best promote your skills and experience for this role. Then think of specific tasks from within those projects that would support this. Plan so that you can talk knowledgably about a number these examples. A clear method for presenting each would be by applying the following structure:
    • Situation - briefly describe the where/when/who
    • Task - outline what the task or objective was (what you hoped to achieve)
    • Action - describe what you personally did (your role and input, not your team's actions)
    • Result - tell the interviewer what the outcome was, and what skills you developed
  • Work out what your skills, abilities strengths and weakness are with relation to this role. It is very common for you to be asked what you think these are at interview. So make sure you are prepared for it.

Know the employer and what they are likely to be looking for:

  • Research the company and if possible the specific team or division. Try to understand their challenges, aims and objectives. This will not only show commitment but will also allow you to consider how these align with your own goals? You can then tailor your responses to reflect this.
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