Monday, 28 July 2014

How to Impress an Employer at Interview. Part One.

It is the time of year when many are entering the bewildering world of work for the first time. You may be looking ahead to when you leave school/college next year or even want to improve and progress from your current employment.


I am concentrating for a few weeks on the theme of employability skills with excerpts from  Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. This a user-friendly workbook where you can work at your own pace, and explore the links for more information at a time to suit yourself.
I kicked off last week with an excerpt from Chapter Three - Working Effectively in the Workplace.
But now we will back-track a bit and look at what you need to know before you get to that all-important interview which will lead to your offer of a job.

How will you impress an employer at interview? 

You have identified what employers are looking for.
You have prepared a fantastic CV.
You have written a stunning covering letter and made sure that it is factually correct.
You have emphasised your strengths in your 'pen picture' of personal profile.

Going for an Interview.

One morning, the eagerly awaited letter arrives on the doormat. You have been selected for an interview! Well Done!
Full of excitement and anticipation you make a note in your diary and leave it at that. Right?
Wrong!
You have a lot of preparation to do before THE DAY.

Some point to consider when going for an interview.

How will I get there? Bus, train, car, get a lift off someone? You need to be sure that you can travel to work without any problems so it would be a good idea to do a dummy run beforehand if you can. If travelling by bus, check the bus timetables and any connections. If you live a distance from the organisation, they will want to be sure that you can get to work on time, especially if the job involves odd hours. It certainly would not do, in any case, to arrive late for the interview. It is much better to be self-sufficient and not rely on other people for getting to work.
It is far better to have this information to hand when they ask the question.
Do I need a haircut? Do this in good time to allow your hair to settle in afterwards.
What will I wear? Even if you are going for a manual job, a suit is never out of place. If you don’t have a suit and are unable to get one, a shirt and tie is an absolute must with a smart pair of trousers (male). You could then perhaps get away with a smart casual jacket. For the ladies, a suit is always suitable with a nice blouse—no low-cut tops please! It is however not just an interview for the job, but for your future. A good rule is to dress for where you want to go to, what you want to be. Dress to impress is another maxim and very true as first impressions really do count.
Do my clothes need cleaning/washing/pressing? Get this organised in good time.
Have I looked on the Internet for information on the company? I do need to impress them.
What kind of questions will I be asked? You will most certainly be asked why you want to work in the organisation, why you want the job or even what makes you think that you are suited for it. Have this information ready.
You may be asked about the organisation, for instance, what they do.Have you researched on the Internet? Do you have some notes ready? There is more on the sort of different questions that you may be asked on the following website—http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/Helpapplyingforajob/DG_173785
Have I got all my Certificates and/or Record of Achievements (School), or CPD Portfolio ready?
(For CPD see Release Your Potential: Making Sense of Personal and Professional Development. Marsh 2011)
Do I know which part of the building I have to go to, who I have to ask for, and what their position is?
Check your letter and if needs be, ring up and ask for the department who sent out the letter and ask anything you are not sure about. If nothing else, it breaks the ice and gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself. You now become a person. Not just another name.

Task:

Think of three examples of good practice when attending an interview.
1.

Why? What is the reason?
  
2.

Why? What is the reason?
  
3.
  
Why? What is the reason?


Think of three examples of bad practice when attending an interview.
1.

Why? What is the reason?

2.

Why? What is the reason?

3.



Why? What is the reason?
(There are more preparation tasks in Skills for Employability Part One: pre-Employment.   
Did you follow the link earlier about the kind of questions you may be asked?
Take another look and pick out those that apply to the job for which you are applying. Answer them below or on a separate piece of paper. This is not a test. It is designed to prepare you for what could be the most important meeting of your life.)

On the day of the Interview.

This will be covered in the next post. 

Social Media.


**Now might be a good time to think about how you use social media, i.e. your Facebook Page and Twitter. It is easy for an employer to find you. Do you give a good impression of yourself in the way in which you communicate with others? I came across an e-book (29 pages), which brings home how a bad social media page can cost you a job. The link to this Kindle book is at the end of this book under ‘Links’. If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, download the free Amazon Kindle app. to your computer.
a user-friendly workbook where you can work at your own pace, and explore the links for more information at a time to suit yourself.

I kicked off this theme on employability skills with an excerpt from Chapter Three - Working Effectively in the Workplace.July 24th 2014


To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in the bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.



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Rosalie