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Candidates

Interview/CV tips

If you would like some advice about your CV then please feel
free to send it through to a consultant to view and feedback to you.


Here are some CV format examples

CV Format Example 1 (PDF)
CV Format Example 2 (PDF)


Example Interview Questions
Example 1 (PDF) 


General Interview Hints & Tips
Example 1 (PDF) 


Here is a step-by-step guide how to act during an interview.

Introduction

The selection process itself can be difficult, but then comes the interview. This can throw up all sorts of problems for candidates and can be make or break in relation to a role.

An interview will inevitably go well if you are prepared and confident. You do not necessarily have to answer every question correctly, but if you are responding in a confident and acceptable manner then you will impress your interviewer. Be prepared about both the company and the role and if at all possible, your interviewer.

At the interview stage, a future employer will be considering not only your experience and qualifications but also the manner in which you present yourself, your skills abilities and personal qualities that may make you a match for the company and the role, so it is crucial that you present yourself to the absolute best of your ability.

Preparation and Confidence

Ensuring that you are well prepared will naturally inspire confidence within you. You can make sure that you are fully prepared for your interview by:

  • Knowing the date, time, location and if possible your interviewers name
  • Be absolutely sure you know how to get to the interview and how long it should take you. Research the area and make sure you anticipate delays and are no more than half an hour early (check if there is a nearby café to wait in if necessary)
  • Know exactly what you are going to wear on the day and have it laid out and prepared
  • Do not take excess baggage into the interview
  • Have a clear mind and focus solely on the interview and not your personal life
  • Bring any certificates and qualifications that has been requested, and an interview letter if you received one. Have all these documents fully prepared and in your bag the evening before. If in doubt, take them with you regardless
  • Once you arrive for your interview make sure you clearly and confidently announce yourself at reception and if possible visit the toilets to make sure you are presentable

Making sure that you are organised and prepared will mean that you exude confidence on the day of your interview, even if you are not inwardly feeling it!

Preparing To Meet the Employer

You need to make sure you are as fully prepared as possible when you meet with your potential employer. Remembering their name and pronouncing it correctly and confidently is a must, but you should also be aware of there position within the company and what they do. You should be fully aware of what the company does as a whole and any current projects that they have on. You can find out this information by asking staff, as a lot of companies do offer you the chance to talk through the vacancy with someone. The internet can also be an invaluable source.

Make sure you have a descriptive job description and are fully versed on what the job entails.

Don’t Forget You

Whilst preparing yourself with knowledge about your employer, remember that you should be clear on your own CV and able to answer questions about yourself! This may seem an obvious statement, however when put on the spot people often find themselves unable to talk about their skills, achievements and abilities.

If necessary then sit down and run through your CV making notes. Consider yourself as a person in employment and think about what you have achieved, how you see yourself professionally and personally and any ambitions you may have. Prepare set statements about yourself and rehearse these. One of the most commonly asked interview questions is ‘Tell me about yourself’ and you should rehearse an answer for this – keep in concise but informative and most importantly relevant. Employers normally use this question to get to know your personal qualities rather than achievements but you can of course support your statements with any examples.

Answering Interview Questions

Interviews can vary hugely from company to company. You may find some interviews surprisingly informal and others will be very formal indeed. You can find lists of frequently asked interview questions through a quick search on Google and you can practice how you would answer these. As long as you have done your preparation on the company and yourself you will be able to answer any questions thrown at you.
A few general guidelines:

  • Appear interested at all times
  • Turn your phone off and have it out of sight
    Enunciate your words and project your voice
  • Answer briefly but avoid yes/no answers
  • Never lie or embellish your answers, honesty is always the best policy
    Maintain positive body language
  • Take your time answering any hypothetical situation questions
  • Be prepared for unexpected questions, these are intentional to see how you handle surprise
  • When posing questions of your own, keep them brief and limited to the end portion of the interview. Remember to use open ended questions such as ‘Tell me about…’

At the end of on interview you should always remember to thank the interviewer for their time and exit in a calm and quiet manner – and remember to smile!

Questions for the interviewer

There will always be a chance for you to ask any questions you may have towards the end of the interview. This is a two way process and so it is important you ask well thought out and relevant questions that you may have. Do try to focus on any issues which are important to you whilst still demonstrating an interest in the company – leave issues such as terms and conditions until the very end, even if they seem a priority to you. You could even write your questions down before an interview and take them along with you.

Some good topics to touch upon may include:

  • How the organisations goals have changed over the last 3 – 5 years
  • Executive Management Styles
  • The competitive environment in which the organisation operates
  • Any obstacles the organisation may anticipate in meeting its goals

Suggested Questions:
1. What are the main objectives and responsibilities of the position?
2. How does the company expect these objectives to be met?
3. What obstacles are commonly encountered in reaching these objectives?
4. What is the desired time frame for reaching the objectives?
5. What resources are available from the company and what must be found elsewhere to reach the objectives?

Presentation and Body Language

With regards to dressing for an interview this will largely depend on the position and the company. Some may require you to wear simply smart, formal wear whilst others would expect very formal dress. Do try to gain an insight as to what the company would expect.

Make sure you are clean and well groomed. Try your best to come across calm and confident, and small things such as deodorant and perfume can boost your confidence.

Once you are safely in the interview room they may be some pleasantries and small talk intended to put you at ease. Use this time wisely as many people form first impressions within the first 90 seconds of meeting and speaking with someone. Don’t go too over the top by being extremely friendly or alternatively being paralysed with fear. Make sure you begin with a firm handshake, smile pleasantly and try and act as natural as possible.

Some simple but often forgotten rules

Some simple but often forgotten rules include:

  • Firm handshake
  • Good posture, keep you feet flat on the floor and your arms by your side or hands folded in your lap
  • Sit still and do not fidget
  • Maintain natural eye contact
  • Be enthusiastic and use gestures, you do not have to keep your arms glued to your side as this will not come across natural – however, be conscious when doing this and do not over-use it.
  • Nod and mm along when they speak to show that you are listening and interested
  • Most importantly try to act as natural and relaxed as possible!

 

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Pathfinder Recruitment

Pathfinders Media Recruitment has been sourcing talent for
London’s media, marketing and communication companies
for 40 years. Our extensive experience in this sector is
matched by the breadth of positions we cover.

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