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Interview Preparation

As the saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". The importance of preparation cannot be stressed enough – it is essential for a successful interview. The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be.


Research

Research the company and find out as much information as possible about your prospective employer in advance. Most now have websites which are packed with information. Familiarise yourself with mission statements, past performance, future goals and current analyst ratings.
If the company website does not have a press area, access information online through search engines or media sites, such as The Financial Times website, and run a search on the company.

Be aware that if your prospective employer does have a comprehensive website, you may seriously compromise your chances if it becomes apparent you have not taken time to research it.

Additionally, you can call the company and request sales literature, annual reports, technical information, product brochures, information and so on.


Review your CV and the Job Description

Know your CV back to front and ensure you are equipped to answer questions on the details you have supplied including facts and figures about your present and former employers.

Ensure you have read the job description thoroughly and be prepared to demonstrate the ways in which your experience relates to the role on offer and how this will benefit your potential employer.

Be ready to use pertinent examples from your career or personal life to demonstrate your skills and competencies.

 
Interview Questions

There are some questions that are asked frequently in interviews and you should prepare your answers beforehand. The key things to remember when responding to interview questions are to keep your answers relevant, brief and to the point.

·  Tell me about yourself.

·  What have your achievements been to date?

·  Are you happy with your career to date? Where to you want to be in
   2 / 5 / 10 years time?

·  What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did
   you tackle it?

·  What do you like / dislike about your present job?

·  What are your strengths?

·  What is your greatest weakness?

·  Why do you want to leave your current employer?

·  Why have you applied for this particular job? Why do you want to
   work here?

·  What qualities do you think will be required for this job?

·  Why should we employ you? What will you bring to the
   role / company?

Additionally, be prepared for competency based questions that try to access your skills. They work on the principle that “Past performance is the best predictor of future performance”. Therefore, use examples that illustrate what a good job you have previously done.

Remember that an interview is a two way process. The interviewer will be trying to determine whether you are the right person for the role and, likewise, you should take the opportunity to determine whether the potential employer will provide the career development and challenge that you seek.

Be ready to ask questions that you have prepared beforehand. This will further demonstrate the preparation you have made. Ensure they are open, thus encouraging the interviewer to provide you with additional information.

Some questions you might ask include:

·  Why has the position become available?

·  How does the position fit into the structure of the organisation?

·  What training programmes are available to ensure continued
   personal and career development?

·  What plans does the organisation have for future development?

·  What motivated you to join the organisation?

Remember, your Chase and Holland recruitment consultant will always meet with you in preparation for an interview. Additionally, we will provide you with detailed and specific information on the company and role.

 
Practical tips

You might find it useful to take notes into the interview. This will allow you to better prepare, giving you more courage in your convictions.

Familiarise yourself with the journey to the location, to ensure you arrive in plenty of time. If driving, do a 'dummy run'. Check timetables and book train tickets in advance. Anticipate delays, especially on unknown routes. Contact your interviewer swiftly if you are unavoidably delayed on the day. Be punctual for your meeting but it is inadvisable to arrive more than half an hour early. Remember that you start making an impression on your prospective employer the moment you arrive at reception.

Dress in business attire (suit, shirt and tie / blouse). Do not wear casual clothes even if you know that it is company policy.

 

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