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Top Ten Ways Not to Screw Up An Interview

Interviews can be a real nerve-wracking experience for many. Will you say the wrong thing? Will your mind go completely blank and you won’t be able to remember any of the right answers to the questions you are being asked? What should you wear? What happens if you get lost? Interview nerves happen to the best of us, here are our top ten ways to make sure you don’t screw it up:

  • Dress appropriately. You may have been told in the past to ‘Dress to Impress’ but what does that mean? Ideally for an interview, your should be wearing clothing that is appropriate for the role you are applying for AND that you are comfortable in. If you are worrying about your outfit choice, your mind won’t be focused on the interview.
  • Be on time. There is nothing worse than someone showing up for an interview either ridiculously early or late. If you are worried about finding the location, why not do a test drive first so you know exactly where you are going on the day? Arriving a few minutes early is fine. It shows you are keen and have good time management which is crucial in most roles.
  • Make sure your CV is accurate. There is nothing worse when you are being questioned about previous roles and responsibilities if you aren’t sure or can’t really remember. Make sure you are up to speed with your experience and how it is relevant to the role that you are applying for.
  • Prepare well. Most employers will expect any future recruits to have at least done a bit of research into their company and to make sure you have an understanding on the background of the company, where they started and where they are looking to go to. It shows you have an interest and have spent some time researching them.
  • Be yourself. Yes going for a job interview is almost like rehearsing for a play. You are going into a strange place, to meet strange people and be the best version of yourself. No one really laughs at people’s lame jokes but for some reason, we go that extra mile to be someone we are not. Just try to relax, don’t put on any airs and graces and go through the process.
  • Tell the truth. Sometimes people feel pressured to exaggerate the truth in order to secure the role. DON’T do it. You will only get found out later on and it’s not worth the humiliation. However, learn when to stop. No one wants to hear how much you hate your current job!
  • Take notes. There are a lot of factors to consider when going for a new job. Not only the crucial question of ‘can I do this job?’ but also, is the work ethic and culture for you? Do you get a good feeling about the place? How do the other people seem? Happy/sad? What are the benefits/perks? If you take notes, it also gives you time to think about your next move and refer back to them later.
  • Have some questions ready. Candidates that have some questions already prepared, again show that they have really thought about the position and what they might like to get out of the role. Having none can show a lack of interest in the role.
  • Learn to laugh. Everyone makes mistakes in interviews. It is human nature and nothing to worry about. If you stumble over your words, say the wrong thing or even trip over…just learn to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and laugh. It happens, move on.
  • Be keen. If you have been for the interview, really loved it and feel it is the role for you then don’t be afraid to say so. A quick email to the company to thank them for their time and express your interest in the role is completely fine. Just don’t overdo it.

Did you know that Johnson Underwood also offers interview tips and advice so if you are really struggling, why not arrange to come and see us and we can help you prepare for that all-important meeting. Please call 01604 626162 or email carol@johnsonunderwood.co.uk to arrange.

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