or… “the importance of preparation for interviews” A survey by Monster.co.uk found that interviewers take on average less than 7 minutes to decide if a candidate is right for the role. Factors influencing whether an interviewee was viewed as employable were
- A candidate’s timekeeping (96% of managers agreed this was influential). In other words, if you are late for the interview, you’ve blown it!
- Level of the candidate’s interview preparation (93%)
- Ability to hold eye contact (82%)
- Personal appearance (73% – two thirds of employers said they were put off by tattoos)
- Quality of banter or small talk (60%)
- Strength of handshake (55%)
As you can see from the above, preparation is the key ingredient for interview success – surveys have suggested that over 80% of interviews are won or lost before you even enter the room. Careful planning and preparation will make sure that your interview goes smoothly and will also help to calm your nerves! So what can you do?
- Plan how you will get to the interview. Leave plenty of time in case of delayed trains or traffic jams.
- Dress neatly and smartly.
- Take a small, neat notepad and pen to write down important information the interviewer may tell you, and after the interview, the questions you were asked, so you can work out better answers to any you fluffed.
- Research very carefully the careerarea for which you are applying.
- Remind yourself why you are interested in this career, and this employer: enthusiasm is important.
- Re-read your application form as if you were the interviewer. Try and anticipate the questions they will ask. Think about any awkward points that might be picked up on, and how you will handle them.
- Prepare some questions to askthe interviewer.
- Research the employer – here are some things you may be able to find out from the employer’s web site or via Google.
- What are its products and/or services?
- Who are its main competitors?
- What are its future plans and prospects?
- What is the organisational culture?
- What types of training, development and appraisal are offered?
The Careers Employability Award will help you with interview preparation but also the most common interview questions, aptitude tests and assessment centres and you can also try a practice interview. It’s all done on line by quizzes and short assignments and can be completed in a few hours. You learn all of the skills needed to get a job or internship and thereby greatly increase your chances of getting a graduate job and you get 60 Employability Points plus a smart certificate. One student commented: “I recently had a very successful interview largely because I put the advice on the module into practice!” and another “It would be mad to apply for a job or attend an interview without doing it! “.
– To enrol on the Careers Employability Award, enter Moodle and search for DX_CEA or Careers Employability Award or see our webpages.