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Outperform your competition in your interview

Your CV has done the trick and you have been invited for an interview. There are now three key areas to focus on before your meeting, preparation, preparation and then some more preparation!

  1. Research your new potential employer. Being able to confidently talk about your interviewer's business will show you are interested in their job specifically, not that you are looking or any job. Look at business interests, existing skillsets, customer reviews, size of business, how many sites, how long they have traded.

  2. Investigate who will be interviewing you, is there a photo on their website? If you bump into them in the car park before your interview and introduce yourself, this will score points as well as settle your nerves by knowing a face.

  3. Flatter your interviewer, not by commenting on his or her hair, but by showing you know about them. Google him or her, they may have written an article you can mention. You are likely to be the only candidate that will have done this.

  4. Plan your journey. If you are travelling a long distance, do not leave just enough time to get there, this causes way too much stress. Are you taking public transport? If so, are there any planned works?

  5. Compose yourself. Arrive 10-15 early, relax, check yourself in the mirror, turn off your phone.

  6. Teamwork is a skill you will have to demonstrate during your interview. Make sure you have a brief discussion with everyone you meet, receptionists, nurses, vets – and don’t forget clients!

  7. Questions are generally common, practice the obvious ones, strengths and the dreaded weaknesses, what will you bring to us, why should we hire you? Don’t just practice these in your head, stand front of a mirror, or better get someone else to ask you the questions and answer them out loud. Answering these questions fluently show confidence. Don’t forget those seemingly bizarre questions; what type of jungle animal would you be? What type of biscuit would you be? You are being asked to demonstrate that you can think on your feet in situations that are unusual.

  8. Telephone interviews require the same preparation and commitment as face to face interviews. To improve your confidence, dress smartly. To ensure you sound professional stand up throughout your discussion. Your voice will be clearer and more pronounced.

  9. Body language, experts say 80% of communication is visual/physical as opposed to verbal. A firm hand shake (don’t break any bones), sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact, nodding demonstrating understanding. All these are important points to consider.

  10. Yes & No answers are always wrong! Always expand on answers giving your reasoning.

  11. Feedback to your interviewer. At the end of the interview, say how keen you are, when you would be able to start if offered and ask when and how you will hear back. Demonstrate how keen you are.