Date: Tuesday December 17, 2019 at 3:08pm
A polished CV & Cover Letter are key tools in securing
that next position, but ultimately it’s the interview which will make or break the
Whilst your CV may tell employers if you meet the criteria
set out in the job description, the interview should give them the answers they
want to the following 3 questions:
Can you do the job?
- Will you do the job?
- Will you fit into the team/company?
‘By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to
fail’ Benjamin Franklin
The importance of this initial step should never be
underestimated. The more you’ve prepared, the more confident you’ll feel on the
day and the better you will perform.
Preparation + Confidence = Performance
It may seem a daunting prospect, but creating an interview
prep checklist will help you to get ready for the big day.
examine the job description
It may give you ideas about
questions the employer may ask
why you want the job and why you’re qualified
You should be able to explain
your interest in the role and why you’d be the ideal candidate
the company, its culture, products and services
It may help you to formulate
questions about the workplace environment and shape your interview conversation
your answers to common interview questions
You may not be able to predict
each question, but you could prepare your elevator pitch and the answers to
some common questions
your speaking and body language
Make a positive, lasting
impression throughout the interview process by practicing a confident strong
speaking voice and friendly, open body language. Pay attention to your smile,
handshake and stride.
several thoughtful questions for the interviewer
Show that you’ve researched the
company and job well. Employers generally feel confident about candidates who
ask relevant, thoughtful questions about the company, job and perhaps the next
steps in the hiring process.
Carry out some mock interviews
Just like public speaking,
practicing interviews is the best way to relieve anxiety and improve your
confidence. Practice may be tedious, but repeatedly experiencing the interview
process will make you more comfortable and help you give the right impression.
Practice your questions and
answers out loud. This gives you an opportunity to refine your answers and
commit them to memory. The more you practice, the more confident you'll be
during the real thing.
Print some hard copies of your CV
Most employers ask for digital
copies of your CV these days, so having a few hard copies to present to
multiple interviews shows that you are organised and have prepared well. When preparing for the interview, read your
CV through thoroughly and be ready to explain any gaps, bullet points and
achievements. Be honest and diplomatic when answering any awkward questions and
Prepare your travel arrangements well in
Getting to an interview can be a
challenge in itself. To avoid becoming anxious, leave early or do a trial run
beforehand, save the interview contact details in your ‘phone or in your
notebook, just in case there’s an unavoidable delay, and check out parking near
You wouldn’t have been called to
interview if the employer didn’t think you could do the job, but one of the
biggest challenges most people face at interview is selling themselves.
However, if you have prepared well and present yourself accurately and
positively, it doesn’t have to feel like a sale. Concentrate on your
professional skills, experience, qualifications and achievements which will
help to set you apart from other candidates. The employer wants to know that
you’ll be the right fit and that you can a value to the company, so they need
to know all the reasons you can provide to back that up.
Follow up after the interview
This is an essential step, as it
shows the employer that you are genuinely interested in the position and gives
you the chance to bring up any points you may have forgotten to mention.
Learning how to communicate your military experience in
civilian terms and perform well at interviews takes practice. Just as top
sports people have coaches to help them achieve their potential, top candidates
have interview coaches to help them prepare, structure their answers and
conduct mock interviews. Interview coaching could give you that competitive
edge, build your confidence and help you to stand out from the crowd.
professional interview coaches all have commercial experience which they’ve
used to help service leavers and veterans build their confidence and optimise
their performance at interview. For best results, we tailor all sessions to
your unique requirements with single or multiple coaching sessions, mock
interviews and feedback. To find out more call 07715 302312 or email email@example.com
Sian Richardson is the founder and senior consultant at
FORCES CV & CAREER SERVICES which provides full transition support to
veterans and members of the Armed Forces, Police and Emergency Services. For
more information go to www.forces-cvs.co.uk.