Following on from Charlotte’s seminar at Burnley College’s Professional Development Expo, we thought we’d share with you a few of the many hints and tips that Charlotte dished out at the Expo!

As your stomach starts to do summersaults and your palms get sweaty in anticipation of the all-important first hand-shake, it’s easy to begin to worry if you are walking correctly in your new ‘interview’ shoes that may just be on size to big…

Any job interview is, well, let’s face it, a worrying concept for most people looking to secure their next step on the career ladder.

Out there on that thing we call the World Wide Web, there are plenty of snippets of advice or articles written in an attempt to make you look forward to these dreaded events! Here at Ginger we know all too well the importance of interviews certainly have interviewed our fair share of nervous candidates!

Following our last blog on job hunting advice, the team at Ginger have compiled this blog to banish many of the worries and queries many job seekers have in that run up to the interview.

Firstly, RESEARCH AND PREPARATION is key a successful interview!

As you sit down, place your things on the side and attempt to sit and look comfortable, in a  position you feel you can keep up for the duration of the interview, we can guarantee one thing…You will be asked in one way, shape or form, what you know about the company you are front of. This is your opportunity to WOW the interviewer with your epic company knowledge and proactive nature familiarity with the corporate culture. HOWEVER! You will be surprised how many candidates get asked the dreaded yet simple to answer, question and fail miserably with ‘welllll, it’s based in Burnley…’

Get savvy! Being a good old fashion SWOT will place you one step ahead!

  • What does the business do?
  • What are their products?
  • Past couple of years performance?
  • The latest news surrounding the company?
  • Check out their blog, and news pages
  • Company Culture? It is not only about whether you fit the role, it is whether you will fit in with the organisation and their team.
  • Do you know your interviewers?

Another thing to consider it preparing your Journey! Arrive a good ten mins before the interview you want to look keen, not too keen though! One minute over and you have blown it so make sure you know your plan of attack when it comes to travel. Don’t get caught out! There will always be a place nearby that you have a coffee if you are too early!

Next up…First Impressions!

Remember it takes just 7 seconds for you to make a positive initial impression! In a study in 2014, around 70% of employers admitted that a candidate’s make-up has an effect on their first impressions. Your presentation and yes, your handshake really does have an impact on the interviewer’s first impressions. Smart suit and smart office wear is always a safe choice; rather be over dressed than underdressed right? Be confident in your approach, friendly and approachable, break the ice with something simple if needed!

It’s Question time!

Firstly it is always helpful to remember that the interview is a two way process, you need to know that this job and the company is the perfect fit for you.

Don’t be stumped when it comes to their questions; prepare scenarios for questions you may get asked so you can pull out you’re a game at every point possible.

Use the STAR technique! It simplifies your answer to be able to give the interviewers all of the information they need.

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

So… You are now on the home straight! You think the important stuff has been covered… WRONG!

‘Do you have any questions?!’

This is a non-negotiable, non-rhetorical question, guaranteed to be asked at the end of every good interview. So don’t say no!

Pre-prepare a few questions about the role…

  • What is a typical day in the life of someone doing that job?
  • What sort of projects will you be working on?
  • What opportunities does the business offer in terms of career progression?

(Not ‘What are the hours?’ or ‘how many holidays?’ – These are one way tickets to a decline!)

Conclude by reiterating your interest in the position and about how the interview has echoed your interest and desire to work for the company. End of on a positive!

After the interview, as you now nervously await any form of response, remember to follow up. Hopefully if you are a pro, you would have their direct email or have at least collected there business card so remember the interviewer’s name and email thanking them for their time. Ask them if they need anything else form you to make their decision? If you have gone throughout a recruitment agency, follow up with the consultant right away, stand out from the other candidates who have been put forward to the company as well.

Most important piece of advice that we can give however throughout the whole process if to be yourself and have personality! Follow our advice and you will fly through the interview!