Most of our blogs are concerned with CVs and how to write them: usually this focuses on our usual obsession, that of targeting the CV to the vacancy using the job advertisement and the person specification (and anything else you can get your hands on related to the position). In this blog, we will be suggesting some interview tips – helping you to treat the interview the same as you did with your CV and your application form.
Remember, recruiters want to hear real word stories about real world situations that you have found yourself in.
Many employers are interested in common themes:
When I was working for the postal service I was frequently required to work in time-sensitive situations, often expected to make up time as I went along. In the event of absence I would always work that extra bit harder because the mail had to be delivered no matter what.
I was always expected to complete 100 interventions a months. Attendance was very poor but I started to text customers the day before their appointment and my stats improved by 40%.
In four years I had just two sick days.
Of course, these are generic answers to made up themes. For your own interview you will be warned what the themes will be. The employer tells you clearly what they are looking for:
We are looking for someone who is……
You will need to be…..
You will be expected to….
Sit down and put finger to keyboard: start to list real-world scenarios where you have met each and every requirement that the employer is asking for. They don’t all have to be based on experience gained in paid work:
During my time volunteering at my local school I needed to be alert and have a strong sense of responsibility over the children at all times.
Or it could be something drawn from your personal life:
Taking care of my father-in-law during the last years of his life taught me how to care for vulnerable people and assist them to maintain independence and dignity.
Notice that – just as with the CV and the application form – the information that we are pulling together is aimed squarely at very specific areas that employers might be looking for. You will need to do your research. Pore over the documents that the employer has supplied. All the clues are there to give you guidance. In fact, employers frequently go the extra step and tell you exactly where they will be assessing you: on the application form or in the interview.
They have called you for interview because they like you: this is your chance to shine. Get this bit right and you’ll be in work before you know it.