Although the unemployment rate in the UK has recently fallen, the number of people out of work is still extremely high. It was reported earlier this month that the number of people unemployed for two years or more in the UK has increased by 18,000 people this year – the highest figure since 1997.
These latest statistics show that more and more people are struggling to find work. And, alarmingly, more and more people are remaining out of work. With a large number of people still trying to find employment, the need to impress during a job interview is higher than ever.
Job interview preparation is a proven way of impressing an employer and can even help candidates to secure work. A key ingredient to succeeding during a job interview is preparation and research as an employer is more likely to warm to a candidate who has put the effort in to find out about the company and prepared some intuitive questions.
There a number of steps to preparing for an interview. Firstly, asking for CV advice before sending off a CV can boost chances of winning a job interview. Whether it is asking a friend or previous work colleague or seeking professional advice, CV advice can give candidates structure and can help to spot mistakes that might have gone unnoticed.
The CV writing process is a crucial part of job hunting and it’s the first thing an employer will see. Checking spelling and grammar, highlighting relevant work experience and drawing attention to key skills are just a few of the things that will help to impress an employer. On average employers will glance at a CV for thirty seconds before deciding whether or not they want to continue reading it. If a CV is too long, boring to read or is not relevant to the employer’s industry then they are probably going to skip to the next application. So spending time on reviewing and editing a CV can really help to boost success rates.
After a CV is written up and ready to send, the next step is to look at what jobs and companies you are applying to and make the CV relevant. Researching key facts and figures about an organisation before an interview is vital. Not only does it demonstrate that you are prepared but it also shows that you are interested in the company and motivated to work for them. Key facts like a company’s history and work ethos are easy to find – a quick search on the company website should uncover these. But what is really impressive is going that extra mile. Dig deeper and find out about the Managing Director and key staff figures. Find out about projects they have been working on and their expansion plans for the future. Making a note of these will help to calm interview nerves and will provide some interesting talking points during the job interview.
Answering job interview questions well is crucial and usually you only have once chance to get it right. Thinking about what might come up and possible answers will help with preparation. The easiest way to prepare for this is to sit down and write a list of questions you believe they might ask. Then draft some simple answers and ask a friend to rehearse these with you and practice your responses. Role playing and pretending you are in a job interview can really help to boost job interview confidence.
As well as preparing for possible interview questions the employer might ask, candidates that prepare their own interview questions really stand out. Asking an employer questions about their company and the job and taking along a notepad and pen will show you are prepared and motivated to succeed.
Hayley Stovold is a writer for CV-surgeon.co.uk, an online resource offering career advice, a professional CV creation tool and CV templates to jobseekers.