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20/05/2011

Impressing the impressive - interview skills

Very many congratulations to this year’s South Yorkshire Top 100 SMEs - and to their staff.

Caroline Naylor, partner at CRA says: “We are delighted that the ‘crème’ of our candidates are snapped up by businesses such as South Yorkshire’s top SMEs and we like to think we have prepared them well to meet top business’ exacting requirements. We offer interview coaching and advice and share some of it with you today:

The job interview is the final stage in the recruitment process, following weeks, or even months of hard work on your part. This is where you can clinch the deal, so work at it!

Prepare, prepare, prepare! Employers expect you to know something about them and their business and will be impressed if you have done some research. The interview will also be more enjoyable for you and the interviewers.

Use the internet of course, the business own web site and Google for example. Read trade magazines and obtain a copy of the latest annual report. Get some local information too. Top 100 businesses are well known: there will always be something in local newspapers, magazines and forums. Ask around when you are networking, ask existing staff if you can and other local people. Don’t forget to ask the business itself for some information.

Be on time! – leave plenty of time for travelling and arrive a little early; a trial run beforehand might help. If you are delayed, make sure you let the business know.

First impressions count! Dress smartly and conservatively. Garish clothes and jangly jewellery don’t impress anyone. Smile and shake hands when you meet.

Listen carefully to the interview questions and ask if you need clarification. Answer honestly and don’t go off on tangents. Take the opportunity to sell yourself, using examples to demonstrate experience and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to offer information for a previous question if you forgot it at the time.

Positivity impresses! Especially about your current position and your achievements there.

Body language. Use it to appear open and relaxed.

Interest! Show it. Take notes with you and during the interview and ask questions which demonstrate your knowledge of the business.

Thank you! Say it at the end of the interview, shake hands and reconfirm your interest in the position.

For further advice contact Caroline on 0114 241 803 or email caroline@craconsultants.com