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The Interview

Creating the right Image

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

In today's competitive job market, creating the right image is essential. Looking professional and reliable will project a more reliable and confident image.

Take copies of your CV with you and any other certificates / documentation that may be relevant. Showing you are prepared and have planned for such questions can again be a strong indicator of your professionalism whilst showing your planning and organisational skills.
Examples include:

  • Membership to a professional body such as the CIPD or the ACCA
  • Prince2, Agile accreditation certificates
  • Advanced Excel courses you may have attended
  • Passport and or driving licence

Finally, before you enter the building where you are to be interviewed, switch off your mobile phone. Do not put it on silent or vibrate mode.

At the Interview

Remember that you are making an impression the minute you walk through the door and speak to reception.

  • Speak in a polite and confident manner.
  • During the interview, maintain eye contact.
  • Make sure you are comfortable. If there is a glare from the sun in your eyes, it is better to say something than to shift around and fail to concentrate.

Try to relax, and before you respond to more difficult questions, pause briefly and think about how you want to convey your answer. The interviewer(s) will be assessing you for a number of different competencies. These will include your personality, your management, technical and analytical skills to name but a few.

Remember that an interview is a two way process. Let your personality stand out and above all, do not try to portray an image you think the interviewer is looking for. More often than not, you'll be mistaken, just be yourself.

There may also be a number of tests that the interviewer(s) want you to take. These could include:

Competency based tests or skills tests

These are designed to allow you to show your skills and experience in the main areas of the job or the level of your knowledge. You may be asked to discuss examples of your previous work and achievements, or create a piece of code for example for web developers.

Personality tests

You could be asked questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in certain situations. There is no such thing as a right or wrong answer, as the overall picture is what is important. The end result is a personality rating used to see if the person fits the culture the employer is looking for.

Aptitude tests

Aptitude tests are designed to predict how well you might do with certain tasks. They test abilities such as reasoning with words, numbers or diagrams, problem solving, following instructions. These are usually set as a test paper that you have to finish within a set time. You can take practice tests to try to improve your ability.


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