10 Ace min­utes Your to… in­ter­view

Top tips to help you bag your dream job in Na­tional Ca­reers Week (6-12 March)é

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1 Fail To Pre­pare, Pre­pare To Fail know­ing the com­pany and its val­ues is im­por­tant, but hav­ing ex­tra de­tails up your sleeve will im­press. Look for re­cent projects they might have been work­ing on and try to find com­mon ground. Ca­reers coach Alice Sta­ple­ton ex­plains: ‘I al­ways tell clients to re­search in­ter­view­ers. this shows cu­rios­ity and ini­tia­tive.’

2 Ques­tions, Ques­tions… Curve­ball ques­tions (such as ‘Where does your boss think you are right now?’) are in­evitable. Make a list and start pre­par­ing – but don’t re­cite an­swers. ‘Canned an­swers get in the way of let­ting the em­ployer find out who you are,’ says James Reed, author of Why You?: 101 In­ter­view Ques­tions You’ll Never Fear Again. ‘Firms don’t hire CVS, they hire peo­ple.’

3 First Im­pres­sions Count ‘Be con­fi­dent, open-minded and friendly,’ says Alice. ‘Shake hands with the in­ter­view­ers and ask for their names and their roles.’ Ac­cord­ing to job search web­site workopo­lis.com, you should never take cof­fee, a ri­val com­pany’s prod­uct or a shop­ping bag into an in­ter­view. ‘It makes it look like the in­ter­view is just some­thing you’re fit­ting in.’

4 Turn Neg­a­tives Into Pos­i­tives Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Ca­reers Ser­vice, pos­i­tiv­ity is es­sen­tial: ‘If you’re asked about be­ing made re­dun­dant, de­scribe how you’ve re­sponded pos­i­tively since. If you’ve been out of work for a long time, de­scribe any pos­i­tive steps you’ve taken such as vol­un­tary work, cour­ses, [or] in­dus­try events.’ 5 Think Care­fully About Your Out­fit ‘Get a sense of the com­pany’s style and ap­proach by search­ing on­line,’ says Alice. ‘In­ter­view­ers like to see you’ve made an ef­fort and that the in­ter­view is im­por­tant to you, so aim to be im­mac­u­late.’ Ac­cord­ing to Ca­reer­builder. com, blue and black are the most rec­om­mended colours to wear, while opt­ing for white is likely to be as­so­ci­ated with be­ing or­gan­ised.

That dream job is yours for the tak­ing

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