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TOP TIPS TRILOGY FOR INTERVIEW SUCCESS - Part 1

Interview Techniques - Top Tips
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21 Apr 2017

Part One – Countdown

Starting well beforehand and ending sometime afterwards, an interview is more process than single event, and can be broken down into three phases: 

In this blog, we’ll focus on what you can do whilst counting down to your interview. The Fuller CV has enlisted the help of a planning professional – someone paid to think about and plan for every eventuality.  Here’s what she had to say.

‘I have three golden rules:  1.  Preparation is everything.  2.  Assume nothing.  3.  If it can go wrong, it probably will.  It’s my job to think ahead and ensure everything comes together on the day.’

Here are our professional’s ‘Countdown’ top tips, for travel, clothes, research and interview questions:

Travel

Plan your journey beforehand, checking for line closures, strikes etc, and buy rail tickets in advance - nobody needs a shuttered kiosk or temperamental ticket machine on interview day.  Have an alternative in case your intended route falls victim to an unforeseen delay or closure.   On the day, have sufficient cash to cover the cost of a taxi should all else fail, and hit the ATM beforehand, malfunction has been known to coincide with problems on public transport.

Clothes

Establish the dress code of the company. Conformity matters, especially in environments like the City, and getting it wrong sends a message that you either don’t know or don’t care what’s expected. Overdressed is preferable to under.  If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution. 

Choose something smart and comfortable that fits well and doesn’t ‘shout’ at the people you’re meeting.  Try on the whole outfit beforehand – does it work and make you feel confident? Check the weather forecast… are your chosen clothes suitable?   Interview day is not the time to trial a new look or previously unworn shoes.   Find or buy an umbrella, unless the weather bods have forecast ‘scorchio.’

Research

Use all available resources to hoard information about your target company, including its operating model and how the job you’re being interviewed fits within it. Do you understand the role as advertised and what it will take to make a success of it?  Learn the names of people in key positions.  Read the company website and check for recent press releases or media coverage. Many companies have a press/media section on their site.

If the company has a mission statement, make sure you grasp its meaning and context. What about a sustainability policy?  Does it have a USP (Unique Selling Point)? Be prepared to say why you believe it gives them an advantage. 

What are the company’s recent successes or launches?  If it’s a multi-national, where are the main hubs and satellites?

Do you know when the company was set up and by whom? Has it been party to any acquisitions or mergers?   Read the latest annual report. You need not quote from it verbatim, but be aware of the headlines.   

Questions

Think about predictable questions and plan your answers.  Candidates are often asked if they have any questions, so prepare two or three, based around areas of growth or success for the company.  ‘How long do we get for lunch?’ is not a good question, ‘How many new products launches are set for this year?’ is a great question (if industry appropriate).   

This level of background knowledge and preparation takes days, not hours, so don’t leave it until the day before.  If a professional CV writing service helped to secure your interview, then it’s time to prove that you more than match your write-up.