News, opinion, interviews and business insights from legal industry leadersSubscribe
Interview do’s and don’ts
When looking for a new job it can be a stressful time. Whether you have been made redundant, looking for a new challenge or its your first full time job coming out of university/college there are some simple do’s and don’ts when attending an interview that apply to everyone no matter what your situation is. Chantel Gallagher, Consultant with BCL Legal in Birmingham offers her opinion on interview do’s and don’ts.
You can get a lot of advice for interviews either online or from your consultant if you are using a recruitment agency. Most tips and advice will be similar but I personally feel these are the main ones to concentrate on:
• Dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently. First impressions are formed within the first few minutes of meeting someone. The rest is judged on how you look, act and sound;
• Always find out who you are meeting, the format of the interview and whether there is going to be any form of testing;
• Always ensure that you know your CV inside out as it can be highly embarrassing if the interviewer questions something on your CV and you do not know the answer. Also if you are taking a copy of your CV with you ensure it is the same copy that the client has and that the punctuation is correct;
• A lot of interviewers will ask you some very basic questions to gauge how keen you really are– for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job? Always ensure you have clear and concise answers, not only for basic questions but for anything they ask you. There is nothing worse than going of on a tangent and losing your chain of thought;
• Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company;
• Always turn your mobile phone off.
• Don’t be late, always leave yourself enough time to get to an interview. If you can do a test run then do it – just to ensure you know exactly where you are going;
• Don’t slouch in your seat, fidget or look around aimlessly or do anything that makes you look uninterested;
• If you are a smoker, don’t smoke before your interview;
• Don’t lie about your education or experience, even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest
• Don’t criticize former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip;
• Don’t be arrogant and assume you’ve got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident;
If you are still interested in the position/firm after your interview then always enquire about the next stage of the interview process and close the interview on any reservations they may have. Thus giving you time to prepare for the next stage and for you to come back and put those reservations to the back of their minds.