DESC Careers Information, Advice and Guidance Service

So you have got a job interview – well done! You have demonstrated to an employer that you have what it takes to do the job you have applied for.

There are two stages in the recruitment process;

1. Your CV / application – to get you shortlisted

2. Your interview – this is a two way process. It is to enable the employer to choose the best candidate out of all those shortlisted. For you it is the opportunity to ‘sell yourself’ face to face.

The key to a successful interview is preparation.

Where is the interview to be held? And how are you going to get there? One of the worst things to get wrong at an interview is to get there late. It is very difficult to have a successful interview if you arrive late so make sure you can get there with time to spare. If you are catching a bus, check the timetable, allow for heavy traffic. If this means catching an earlier bus and the weather isn’t too bad, go for a walk around the area or find a cafe to relax in for a short time. This may help calm your nerves and can give you an opportunity to see what the local area is like. If you are driving, make sure there is somewhere to nearby to park.

Examine the job description

There’s nothing worse than going into a job interview thinking it is for something else. If you have applied for many jobs it is easily done. This is why researching the job description is crucial. When looking through the job description, look at these key points:

  • Required skills & qualifications
  • Main duties and responsibilities
  • specified work experience (if necessary)

Carefully align their requirements with your interview answers to showcase you are the ideal candidate for the job!

Research the role

You might be thinking 'hey, isn’t this the same as researching the job description?' it’s not. Use external and reliable sources to examine the role. Sometimes companies can be ambiguous and will vaguely identify the extent of the duties involved.

Research the company

Find out about the employer, what products or services they offer, where they are based, whether they are a part of a UK company or a local company. Ring the company and ask for an information pack on the services they offer or check if they have a website as this is a good source of information. If you have any problems, you could attend the JobCentre office and an employment advisor will help you find out information about the company. Try to find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What does the company do/make/sell?
  • Who are their customers?
  • What sort of organisation are they?
  • Financial information; turnover, profits?
  • What will the job involve?
  • What sort of person do you think they are looking for?

What will you wear?

Generally it is best to dress in a professional / business-like way but you may want to check with the organisation by looking on their website and / or phoning ahead to check on what the usual dress code is. If you will be working in a nursery or on a building site for example, you may want to consider an appropriate type of clothing for the type of job you are applying for. You may still decide that for the interview you will dress conservatively because you feel prepared and confident.

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