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INTERVIEW SKILLS


Interviews can sometimes feel like stressful, even confrontational events, but both you and employer want the same outcome - to fill the vacancy.

Succeeding at interview can be seen as a combination of preparation and performance

PREPARATION

Find out about the company - where it is based, what it sells, how it presents itself, its values, history and key personnel. Knowing about a company's new website or ad campaign, shows interest in a potential future employer.

Read and re-read everything - double check the job description and your application. If you think you answered something badly, plan how you might express it better in case you are picked up on it at interview. Otherwise, simply make bullet-points about the things they are looking for and exact or unique reasons you meet those requirements.

Understand the process - Interviewers will usually ask certain standard questions. Think about the answers in advance, so that you can answer them clearly and concisely. Questions like:
  • Why do you want the job? (be aspirational)
  • How do your skills and experience match the post? (be specific)
  • What did you achieve in previous jobs? (be honest)
  • Why did you leave them? (be selective)
  • Tell us about yourself' (be memorable)
Check your past! - A recent survey (World of Work Report - 2011/2012) revealed over 50% of all employers used social networking to form opinions about candidates. Check your Facebook and Twitter pages and remove anything that might embarrass you or a potential employer.

PERFORMANCE

Look and feel your best - An obvious but essential checklist:
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Dress smartly
  • Arrive early
  • Smile, maintain eye contact and give a strong handshake.
  • Address the interviewer by their surname
Engage with your interviewer - Whether interviewed by someone from HR, your boss or a director, they need to believe you are someone they could work with and who would improve their business tomorrow if chosen. Always show interest in the company, enthusiasm for the job and confidence in your abilities. Try also to 'mirror' their behaviour - are they friendly and chatty or terse and professional?

Answer the questions - Not just 'yes' or 'no', give specific details about your skills or experience and how they apply to the specific job in question. IT jobs require your answers include a higher degree of technical detail, however remember you may be being interviewed by an HR manager, only looking for the technical qualifications and experience specifically mentioned in the job description.

End Strongly - Most interviews will end with the invitation to ask your own questions. Plan these in advance, don't try to be funny (they will have heard it all before) and do ask questions that show you have understood the nature, demands or rewards of the job.

Don’t panic! - There is almost no mistake that cannot be rectified if you feel strongly that you have handled something badly before. And even if you do not get the job, you can learn as much from a bad interview as a good one.

To find your next job in retail - see our jobs

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Mandeville Recruitment Group Ltd Registered in England No: 8706303
Registered office: 96 High Street, Burnham, Bucks, SL1 7JT

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