Here is our step by step guide
Create your own Brand
Your CV is often the only career medium used to get an interview so it is imperative it not only reflects your key skills and experience, but that it also catches the attention of the reader.
Creating your CV is like creating your own brand. You want it to stand out from the hundreds of others that are applying for the same job. Do not rush, take time to include everything you feel is relevant to the specific job you are applying for.
Sometimes it’s hard to describe your own personality, so ask a friend or colleague to describe you in a few lines. The opening line of your CV are the first words a recruiter / HR professional reads. Try and make it stand out, be punchy, to the point but show your personality.
A good CV is one of your most valuable assets. It must demonstrate what you can offer, how you have benefited other organisations and your key achievements. It should summarise your education, background, employment, training and voluntary experience, special skills and any other information you feel is relevant. Make sure you include success stories that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Once you have created your CV, check it repeatedly for correct spelling and grammar. First impressions count for everything, if a recruiter sees spelling mistakes and bad use of grammar then your CV will usually be put to the back. Don’t be shy to ask a friend or family member to check your CV as well before you submit it.
Research your prospective employer
You don’t need to know absolutely everything about the company you are going to interview with but you certainly want to spend several hours reading up on their website and understanding their core values/products and services. Often, you will be 1 of at least 5-10 people being interviewed for the same job, so standing out from less prepared candidates will enhance your chances of securing the job offer you want.
Research your interviewer/s
If you already have the luxury of knowing who will interview you, then research them. See if you can find anything that will make it easier for you to build that bond with that person during your interview. Most interviewers will be impressed that you have done your research not only on the company but them as an individual.
Plan your trip
Know how long it will take to get to the interview. Allow for delays via train/car and always arrive 10-15 minutes early. Arriving late to any interview will automatically stress you out and will have a negative impact on your interview before you’ve even began. Dress smart.
Why are you there
Have good reasons why you are applying for that job. Is it in line with your career progression? Is it a company you can see yourself working in for years to come? Is the commute going to affect you long term? Will you be happy working within this company?
Ask the right questions
When preparing for an interview, you should have a list of a dozen questions you want to ask the interviewer/s at the end of the interview. Remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, so make the most of this precious time. Ask relevant questions relating to the job/team/company that shows enthusiasm to join. Stay away from anything financial or anything to do with the package on offer. If the interviewer thinks you are just interested in the financial side of the job then you will not be taken seriously.
You are your own brand
Every person has their own USP but often they don’t bring this up in an interview. Understand what are your qualities, why you stand out from the rest, why you should be the person they want to hire. Think of yourself as a brand. How would you sell yourself, have some fun with it, you can be punchy and describe yourself in one sentence. They will remember you for it, (just don’t go OTT).
It doesn’t matter what type of job you are applying for; everyone has success stories that they can bring up. Think of a time when you have done well, it could be you closed a huge complex deal, it could be you turned an underperforming team/company around, you have managed difficult people, whatever it is, people like to hear success stories, so think of a few that relate to the job you are applying for and use these during the interview.
Whatever is being discussed during your interview, always try to be positive. Often, you will be asked why you left previous employers. Even if you had a bad experience that was no fault of your own, do not criticise your ex employers as this will almost certainly come across negatively.
Pay attention to non-verbal communication, this is just as critical as verbal. Read your interviewers, are they losing interest when you’re speaking to them, are you communicating with everyone in the room or just one person. When being interviewed are your arms crossed, do you look your interviewer in the eye when speaking to them.
Enjoy the interview
In a lot of cases, when you attend an interview you have usually had a previous phone screening with HR or the hiring manager. You know the company is interested in you because of your skill set and the initial phone call. The 2nd interview is usually about your personality, how do you present yourself, are you easy to talk to, do you communicate well, are you fun or are you too serious. So it’s really important you enjoy the interview, relax, smile throughout, build the bond and let the true person come to light.
Be confident, once you have asked all your questions at the end of the interview then ask the interviewer when should you hear back. Some example closes.
“From my research I knew that this was going to be an attractive position with a company that has an excellent reputation. Now I’m even more convinced of that. Is there anything else you require that will help persuade you I’m the right person for this job?”
“This sounds like the perfect job I have been hoping for. I believe my …(list your strengths) make me the right person for this job. What is the next step in the hiring process?”
I did extensive research on your company beforehand and was really excited about this interview. This has been reinforced by everything I have learned today. I appreciate the time you have taken with me and I’m positive about my ability to perform successfully in this job. Is there anything else you need to know; do we need to set up another meeting?”