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How to prepare for an interview

Getting an interview is an achievement in itself. Only a small proportion of applicants are selected for interview (often about 10%) so you have already made a positive impression to have got to this stage!

Many people have a fear of interviews, so here are some tips to help you make the most of this opportunity. Firstly, it is for the interviewer to see if you match the requirements of the job. These will naturally vary with different jobs but are likely to include:

Your personal qualities
Your technical skills & ability
How well you express yourself
Your motivation and enthusiasm

The recruiters will already have an indication of these from your initial application but now the interview will assess you in person. It is also your chance to meet somebody from the organisation and assess them: are they offering what you want?There aren’t any right or wrong answers to interview questions: how you come across is as important as what you say.

 Research very carefully the area for which you are applying look into recent reforms, precedent cases and current issues in the press.
 Remind yourself why you are interested in this career, and this employer: enthusiasm is important.
 Re-read your application form as if you were the interviewer. Try and anticipate the questions they will ask. Think about any awkward points that might be picked up on, and how you will handle them.
 Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer.
 Plan how you will get to the interview. Leave plenty of time in case of traffic jams or delayed trains.
 Dress neatly and smartly.
 Research the employer – here are some things you may be able to find out from the employers web site or via Google.
 What is the size of the organization?
 How long has it been in business?
 What are its services?
 What sort of reputation or public image does it have?
 Who are its main competitors?
 Where is it based? Single or multiple locations? UK or multinational?
 What is the organizational structure like?
 What are its future plans and prospects?
 What is the organisational culture?
 What types of training, development and appraisal are offered?

Nearly 60% of interviews do not go well because candidates are not prepared and only skim ream over their prospective employers website rather do further background reading and make it more subjective & personal to them.

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