Over the past few weeks we’ve posted blogs on how to ensure that your CV hits the right mark.
Hopefully you’ve applied some of these tips and optimised your CV and made it to the employment interview stage for that job you have always wanted.
Unfortunately a lot of people think that the hard work has now been done and that they can simply turn up to an employment interview and stroll towards a job offer.
The reality is that getting an interview is a great start, but if you really want to bag that job then this is where the hard work really starts.
Having interviewed a number of people myself over the years, I’ve seen so many candidates fail to prepare and as the old cliché goes, prepare to fail.
So, I’ve listed below the first 5 of 10 of the most common things that could go wrong in the interview process.
Remember that with most of the examples, you are in control and if you prepare as well as you can, you will give yourself the best chance at securing that move.
Let’s kick off with the absolute basics….
Employment Interview - 1. Erm, your company does, erm….
Most job interviews start with the question, “So, tell me what you know about the company”. Make sure you take the time to take a look at the company’s website and research the key facts about the business.
This isn’t a case of spending hours learning everything there is to know about the organisation. Ten minutes on their website or a look at company house, will tell you when they started in business, how many employees they have, which areas of business they are focused on and where they are going in the future. It may also be worth looking at sites like www.newsnow.com where you can search to see if the company has posted any news articles and what is going on in their particular sector.
You may even want to consider looking at LinkedIn and search for individuals who are currently working in that business to see what backgrounds they come from. Try and also find the interviewer on LinkedIn or even Google them to see if you can find out what makes them tick.
Job Research is a must and by carrying it out it will show you are serious about the position you have applied for. Not doing your research will start the interview off on the wrong footing and the next 55 minutes will probably be painful!
Employment Interview: 2. Turning up late for an interview
Oh dear. You’ve pegged it from the car park, arriving for the interview ten minutes late and now you are sweaty and anxious. You are immediately on the back foot and at a disadvantage to all those being interviewed for the position. Would you employ someone who can’t make it to work on time?
Again, this is where preparation is key; plan your journey, leaving yourself plenty of time for unforeseen problems such as late trains and traffic.
Print off maps, practice your route and arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview is due to start. This will give you a last chance to look over your notes and gather your thoughts.
Employment Interview: 3. Poor Attire
First impressions count. Before you even say a word, a recruiter will have made a judgement on your suitability for the role by the way you dress. I’ve seen candidates wearing bad ties, shiny shirts, creased clothes, mini-skirts and low cut blouses and that’s just the men!
Keep it smart and tidy. For the chaps, ensure the suit is dark and clean. Your shirt well pressed and your tie fairly conservative. Oh and make sure the shoes are polished, your hair is neat and tidy and all your breakfast is removed from your teeth.
For the ladies, similar to the above but keep the make-up subtle and don’t shy away from that formal suit.
Employment Interview: 4. I hated my old boss
At some point in the interview you will probably be asked for your opinion on your present or former employers. Don’t fall into the trap that many do of bad mouthing past bosses or colleagues, even if they were the worst individuals on the planet. This will only reflect badly on you and lets be honest, no one likes a moaner!
Focus on the positives; what you enjoyed about previous roles and what you achieved for the businesses.
Employment Interview: 5. Don’t come across as TOO polished
There are always those standard questions that will come up in every interview situation. And while it’s vital that you practice and rehearse how you answer these questions, you should never come across like you are reading from an autocue.
By researching the businesses that you applying for, you should be able to tailor your answers to ensure that you are answering with examples that are relevant to the position.
Thanks for reading Part 1. Click the link below which will take you to the 2nd part of why an employment interview could go wrong and includes how you close an interview and how you should follow your interview up to give you the best chance of success.