- Find out as much information as you can about the employer - read any information they have sent you and check in trade directories or libraries. Look at their website. If you can't find their site, try a search engine such as 'google' to search for the company and see what results you get – they may not have their own site, but be part of a group or trade association site
- Look at the application forms and the job description, and think about what questions they might ask you and how you could answer
- Think about your strengths and weaknesses, as interviewers often ask you about these
- Prepare a few questions of your own – for example, what sort of training will I get?
- Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and your shoes are polished
- Work out how you'll get to the interview and how long it will take you. If possible have a trial run
On the Interview day
- First impressions count, so make sure your appearance and personal hygiene are good – hair well groomed, nails clean etc
- Try to wear a suit or smart outfit
- Keep jewellery and make-up moderate, as well as perfume, aftershave and body spray
- Take any documents you need with you (e.g. exam certificates, Progress File, passport, references)
- Make sure that you know the name of the person you are seeing at the interview
- Turn off your mobile phone before you arrive
- Get to the interview 15 minutes before it's due to start
- When you arrive, make sure that the receptionist knows you're there
- Don't chew gum or smoke!
- Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet, and be prepared to shake hands
- Don't sit down in the interview until you're asked to do so
- Don't slump in the chair - sit comfortably, with your hands in your lap and your bags/folders at the side of your chair
- Look at the interviewer when they talk to you. Remember to smile
- If you don't understand a question you've been asked, it's OK to say so. Ask the interviewer to explain what they mean
- Try not to give 'yes' or 'no' answers to questions. If you don't know the answer to a question they're asking, it's OK to say so (try not to do this too many times though.) Remember, the interviewers aren't trying to catch you out. They're trying to find the right person for the job, and that could be you!
Interview tests and assessments
Make an effort to find out what you may be facing at interview - most employers will inform you if they will be expecting you to take tests, or do a presentation, as a part of an interview.
There may be psychometric tests, such as aptitude tests or personality tests, to find out how suitable you are for the job and the company, or you may be expected to take part in a presentation, group activity, or a role play. You can help yourself by doing some practice tests and planning.
An excellent site to find out more about tests and assessments, what you can expect, and how to do well, is www.prospects.ac.uk
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