Planning For Your Interview: The Dos and Don’ts

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Having a great CV is really just the start when applying for a new job. Your interview is where you can really make a difference and that can be extremely daunting for many. Whether you’re applying for call centre jobs in Manchester or a Senior Management position, careful thought and preparation is needed. Below are some of the dos and don’ts you should bear in mind:

What to Do

Do your homework: Make sure you do your research about the company beforehand. Visit their website, look at their products/services and read up on any press articles they’ve been featured in. Employers want to know you're just as interested in them as they are in you and it also means you can make meaningful conversation.

Prepare possible questions: Research common interview and competency based questions and practice your answers. If you’re feeling anxious, practicing an interview with a friend or family member you trust can really help.

Make sure your social channels are in check – More employers today are researching candidates via social media channels before deciding to invite them for an interview. According to The Guardian, research by ExecuNet showed that 77% of recruiters used search engines to find background data on candidates, with 35% admitting they eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.

Dress accordingly: Make your first impression a professional one and dress appropriately for the occasion. Is the interview a formal panel review or a casual coffee? This will set the tone for your outfit. Smart and suited is highly recommended for your first interview, a second interview may be more casual.

Arrive early or right on time: Arriving late does not make a good first impression so make sure you plan your journey and research exactly where you are going to avoid getting lost. You should arrive in plenty of time; if you can around 10 minutes beforehand. This will also give you time to look over your notes before you’re called in.

What Not to Do

Avoid making eye contact: It may be tempting to look away or look down but making eye contact with the interviewer/s is really important. According to a survey by Career Builder, 65% of hiring managers said that failing to make eye contact was one of the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make. If there is more than one interview, try to make eye contact with all, even if one of them looks too scary!

Don’t criticise former employers: Bad mouthing your former employers or colleagues isn’t professional. If asked why you left your previous role, simply explain that you’re looking forward to a new challenge. Employers appreciate loyalty and may judge you as a troublemaker or gossip.

Don't be ill mannered and disrespectful: Even if you decide the job isn’t for you from the offset, don’t slouch or fidget in your seat, yawn, stare out of the window or look disinterested. Do not chew gum, interrupt the interview, use bad language and try not to use slang when you talk.

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Bill is a journalism graduate with a passion for writing and a thirst for knowledge. He's worked and written for a number of high profile magazines and websites since finishing university in 2014.