Do you have a big interview lined up? First things first, it’s okay to be a little nervous! In this article, I’m going to share with you some advice as to how you should prepare for an interview.

Over the course of my career, I have attended many job interviews and in subsequent years, I have been the interviewer too. It is fascinating to be on the other side of an interview, you should definitely try it if the opportunity ever arises for you. It is safe to say that the entire interview process has changed over the years, some organisations do pre-screenings and a lot of companies now use recruitment agencies to filter down the potential candidates. Without further ado, these are some of my top tips which should aid your interview preparation and performance, but most importantly, they should help you to enjoy the process rather than dread it.

Perfect Your CV

Having a great CV is definitely an advantage! It is really important to tailor your CV to fit with the job which you are applying for; it may seem like a lot of work, but make sure that you do this for every application. It will help, I promise. Use keywords related to your desired job. Recruitment agencies have their own search engines, a bit like Google – where they will search for the ideal candidate for the job.

Make yourself easy to find. These days, you don’t even have to apply for a specific job to be considered for it. Recruitment agents search through CV’s which have been published online and will contact you if they believe that you may be suitable for a vacancy they are trying to fill. To help them find you, upload your CV to the job site portals such as Indeed and CV Library and Total Jobs. If you’re not sure how to perfect your CV before publishing it, maybe consult a CV specialist. I’d be more than happy to help, drop me an email at andrew@ajsupport.co.uk.

It is important that you ensure that your CV has a sufficient amount of content. Be careful though, you can have too much content! They do say that there is a 2 page rule. I’d say if you go over a little, then do not worry – just be as concise as possible. The key feature of a good CV is an excellent summary at the start – it has been reported that you have around 6 seconds to impress a recruitment agent before they move on to the next CV in the pile.

How to Prepare for the Big Day!

Whatever job you are applying for, it is important that you understand the business. Do your research. How does it operate? Who founded it? Ensure that you understand the vision and values of the organisation. You have to sell yourself to the interviewer, why should they choose you over every other applicant? Trust me, they will probably have a lot. Make sure that you standout from the crowd. If you can, research the people who will be interviewing you – I hope this goes without saying, do not send them a friend request ahead of the interview! If you can find out what their interests are, it may save you if the conversation becomes a little awkward or tense before or after the interview commences.

Find out as much as you can about the interview process. Whether you Google it or ask the HR department, knowing what you are up against will allow you to prepare properly. Whatever approach you take, do as much research as you can.

The Big Day… Don’t Panic

Make sure that you arrive early. Don’t be on the last minute. The last thing you would want is to be flustered in the interview because you have just sprinted across town to get there on time. Don’t check the Sat Nav the night before and expect the journey to take the same amount of time in the morning – remember, traffic! I’d say your best bet is to be there at least 15 minutes early. That will give you plenty of time to get in the right frame of mind.

Unless you have been advised otherwise, always wear formal business dress. I have interviewed people for important roles and they have arrived at the interview not looking the part. Dress to impress. If you do not know the dress code for the interview, overdress – it won’t do you any harm. It will show that you are serious and will work smart.

When the interviewer collects you for the interview, there may be a long walk to the interview room… Be cautious as to what you talk about! Make sure that you’re positive. Even if it is chucking it down outside and a bus splashed you on your way in to the building, it’s the best day of your life. Positivity and confidence is key. Even if the person walking you to the room is not the interviewer, still be positive. I’ve asked these people for their advice in the past. Be nice to the receptionist.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope that you have found it useful. If you are preparing for an interview, I wish you the best of luck with the process. Just remember, don’t panic and be yourself. I’m Andrew Jancey, a Virtual PA in Manchester – I am able to help you with interview perpetration, CV writing and customisation. If you would like to get in touch, you can reach me on 0161 706 0043 or via email at: andrew@ajsupport.co.uk.