GUEST COMMENT: How to succeed at interview

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The harder you work, the luckier you get. It might sound obvious, but preparation is the key to interview success. Invest time into preparing yourself for interview and you will improve your confidence, your performance and, ultimately, your results.

If this is so obvious, why do many jobseekers choose to ignore it? Some are lazy and cut corners, other are simply overconfident about their interviewing ability. However, many do invest the time and energy into preparation, but still do not get the results. This is largely down to a lack of knowledge about how to prepare for interview. Here are some key points to consider.

Gather information

Before the interview, talk to your recruiter, HR professional, or directly to the employer. Ask questions like - Who will you be meeting? How many interviewers will there be? What are their job titles? What type of interview will you face? What type of assessments or testing will you face? Where can you find additional information on the role?

Research the company and industry

Knowledge of the company and the area in which it operates is your opportunity to stand out. Who are its competitors? How well is it performing? How has it been covered recently in the press? Is there anything you can unearth that may not be known to the company already? Do your best to show that you can go the extra mile.

Know what the employer wants

Break down the employer requirements and seek out additional information if required. Job descriptions are normally the key source for this information. I am amazed how many people read a job specification and, once the application is over, simply cast this valuable information aside without any further consideration. You need to tailor your message to the specific interview and must understand what the employer wants.

Come with examples

You might have masses of experience, skills and qualifications, but how much of it is relevant? An interview is like any sales process - the jobseeker is the sales person and the employer is the customer. Success at interview is about how your qualities fit with what the employer needs. Prepare examples and edit your achievements to what you believe are vital to the role. This is so important, and helps you stand out at interview.

Know your CV

Most schoolboy errors at interview involve the CV. Make sure you know the basic stuff like dates, why you left one job and started another, and can explain gaps in employment. You also need to be able to talk about work experience and remember any points you've highlighted.

Paul Mullan is a career expert, supporting jobseekers with career coaching, CV writing and interview coaching. For more information, go to www.measurability.ie

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