Whether you’re preparing for a job interview after a redundancy, just looking to change your job for one that pays more, or are returning to work after a break looking after the kids, getting the basics right on your CV is only the first step to you getting your next job.
Preparing for your job interview requires more than just arriving on time, dressing suitably and not telling fibs on your CV. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t ‘lose’ the job during the interview process before you’ve even started:
- Don’t get over-friendly
Building a good rapport with the interviewer does not mean wittering on about your boss from hell, your previous professional experiences and swapping war stories – a relaxed interviewing environment is no excuse to become complacent in your professionalism. Lesson learned: get job first. Tell war stories later.
- Stay up to date with interviewing techniques
- Zip it…
- Pack the essentials
This is especially important if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while…
Reading job-seeking books, articles and practising your response for potential interview questions are all great ways to prepare for a job interview, but these resources can only take you so far without human interaction.
Would you only read a book about running the marathon and never even try to jog around the block? Likewise, just reading isn’t enough – get a friend or relative to give you a dry run through a hypothetical interview with suggested questions from these books or articles. Even better, if you know someone who either works in human resources (for a different company, of course), ask them to do a mock interview. This will open you up to receive constructive criticism and be able to integrate another perspective into your response. You may even be asked a question that you never considered answering, making great practice for unexpected interview surprises.
Responding to interview questions in a professional and well-thought out manner is very important. If you’re known for waffling and being a bit of a chatterbox, don’t do it at interviews – it will put interviewers off, and they’ll soon lose patience with you and ditch you before the interview has even finished.
This is why it’s so important to do a practice run of your interview – you want to get some constructive feedback about how you answer questions, so you can sharpen things up and not use coveted job interviews to do your trial and error!
Don’t for get your CV, a good writing pen, your diary, a notebook and business cards with your contact details (where relevant).
At any given job interview, you many be asked to complete forms…how disorganised will you look if you have to ask to borrow a pen? The same goes for taking copies of your CV with you…emailing it doesn’t mean you don’t take a couple of extra copies with you, in a nice folder that won’t crease along your travels.