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How to prepare for an interview


With so much competition for jobs these days, getting an interview is an accomplishment in itself. So first of all, give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far. Next…

Do your research

Prospective employers want to know that you’re keen and have made an effort, so take note of some important aspects of the company – what they do, how long they’ve been around, how many employees they have, what awards they’ve won and key achievements. We’re not saying you have to memorise the chief executive’s birthday and his favourite colour…just his name will do!

Where, when and who?

So you’ve done your research and you know where the company is based but beware…your interview may not be at head office. At First Central, we have a number of locations, so always check and double check the address of where you need to go.

Plan your journey too and make sure you know where you can park if you’ll be driving. It’s always best to leave plenty of time in case of travel delays or if you get lost. It’s much better to be early to an interview than late. You can always stop off at a nearby coffee shop for a latte to calm your nerves.

Make sure you confirm the date and time of your interview and make a note of who you’ll be meeting with. Don’t forget that there could be multiple people in the company with the same first name, so make a note of their surname too.

What to wear

You should get a steer from the person who invites you to interview about what to wear on the day. But if not, it’s always best to make a good first impression and dress smartly.

Here at First Central, we have a causal dress code and will usually make our interview candidates aware of this when we invite them for interview. We’re not saying rock up in tracksuit bottoms and a football shirt, but we don’t expect you to wear a suit and tie.

Most importantly, dress comfortably. There’s nothing worse than pulling at your tie because you tied it too tight.

Make a good impression

Be confident. You can do this and you wouldn’t have got an interview if the company didn’t think you had some potential.

Greet your interviewer with a smile and a handshake.

Talk about your strengths and what you can bring to the role rather than what you’re not so good at. Try and turn any negatives into a positive where possible.

Ask the right questions

At the end of the interview, the interviewer will usually ask if you have any questions for them. This is another opportunity for you to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and that you’re keen to get the job. It’s a good idea to have some questions up your sleeve. Examples could include:

  • How many people are there in the team?
  • Is there an opportunity to get involved in any social events?
  • Is there the opportunity to progress within the company?
  • How many people are you interviewing?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?
  • When can I expect to hear if I’ve been successful?

Ask for feedback

It’s a nice idea to send an email after the interview to thank them for their time. This shows that you’re still interested in the role. We’re not saying you should fire off an email as soon as you get home, but a day or two afterwards is fine. If you’ve not heard back within a week, unless they’ve told you a specific date when they’ll get back to you, it’s ok to send an email to ask how they’re getting on with making a decision.

If you’re unsuccessful in the interview process, ask for feedback so you can improve on this for your next interview.

Most importantly, don't get disheartened. No one likes rejection but it just means it wasn't the right opportunity for you. Your time will come.

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