Proactive.IT Appointments are here to help
You wish to apply for a job or you have secured that all important interview. How can you guarantee maximum impact and ensure that it all goes as smoothly as possible? Proactive.IT Appointments are here to help. Take a look at our useful guides below.
It is important to make a good first impression at interview: be prepared and on time by making sure you know exactly where you are meeting. There are many Apps available which can help you know how best to get there and how long it will take. You can print off directions, just in case your trusty SatNav or App chooses the big day to let you down.
Travelling by train? There are websites which can help with tickets and timetables and booking in advance can save hassle (and even money!). Use your train journey to find out more about the Company you are interviewing with, or research the latest developments in recruitment courtesy of the REC.
You may decide to stay overnight to guarantee the best start to your day. There are excellent hotel booking websites for the best deals.
Finally, the National Careers Service has excellent advice on how to brush up on your interview techniques and be ready for anything by doing a little preparation beforehand.
Name, mobile number and email address
A good example is “8 years experience in Project Management and Business Analysis within Finance and Telecommunications, backed by a lst class degree and MSc.”
Avoid clichés. Avoid ambiguous statements like “I am a flexible, hardworking person.” Nobody is going to put: “I’m difficult and don’t work very hard”!
Reverse chronological order
Company names and all start and leaving dates (month/year)
Do not leave employment gaps
Highlight key responsibilities using active verbs managed, delivered, developed
Avoid simple phrases such as “I worked in C++/UNIX”. Expand these phrases to “Developed network management suite in C++ on Solaris and Linux platforms in parallel.” The more relevant, concise information you can offer, the better
Bullet points can be used for clarity in structure
Include industry-specific “buzzwords”, highlighting how you applied these
Include your achievements, eg mentored/managed staff, cost and length of projects etc.
Reverse chronological order
Include qualifications achieved and degree classifications
A level grades are optional
Hobbies and Interests
Highlight only those areas in which you have a particular interest or skill
If you investigate technology in your own time, include this. The majority of our clients are looking for developers who see coding as more than just a job!
Optional on the document
Ideally provide two relevant work references that can substantiate your technical and work experience
Prior to an interview it is vital that you prepare and research the role and organisation.
You should have received information regarding the role but further to this you need to do your own preparation. This will help you to prepare stand out questions and will assist in a smooth running interview.
- Research the industry, competition and marketplace
- Know about the Company’s products and services
- Look into any recent news/press about the Company
- Look at the Company’s website and social media presence
- Read any Company brochures; annual report; Chairperson's report; product literature
- Ask your own network if they are aware of the Company and any background
Ensure that you have read the job specification carefully. Highlight areas that you would excel in and cross reference this with your CV. Plan how you will deal with questions and how you can show you have the skills and personality for the role.
Talk to your Proactive consultant if you are worried about the interview process. They will be able to assist you in relevant questions and will have knowledge of the Company background.
On the day of the Interview
- Ensure you have the correct address and postcode of the company
- Check the details of who you will meet on arrival and their position in the Company
- Plan your journey and leave additional time for travel problems. Aim to arrive at the location early for peace of mind
- If you are required to take additional documents ensure you have these prepared and organised to present to the interviewer
- If you are making a presentation ensure this is presented well and neatly
- Take a copy of your CV – they may have forgotten it and it could be a good reference point
Interviews are nerve racking and you can expect to feel this. This is natural and helpful as it will help in the preparation.
The Interviewer will have 3 main questions on their agenda:
- Can you do the job?
- Can you do the job effectively?
- Are you going to work well within their culture?
The interviewee (you) should be able to show and relate to your past achievements and performance within the work place and prove that you have the ability to do well in the role you are interviewing for.
Prior to the interview you should identify the relevant skills and experience you have gained that will benefit the position. You should also re-read your CV so that you are able to answer questions that are directed to you.
Prepare for questions regarding employment gaps and short contracts and be ready to answer questions that back up the reasons for these occurrences.
What you might be asked
Questions within the interview will be to determine if you have the skills and knowledge as well as the personality for the role and organisation. When answering you should demonstrate this clearly.
Typical questions could be:
- Why are you looking to leave your current role?
- What are your career goals? How do they relate to this role?
- What motivates you?
- Are you flexible and able to cope with new situations?
- How are your interpersonal skills? How do you work with other people?
- How do you work under pressure?
- What could you bring to the role?
- What previous experiences have you learnt from that could benefit the role?
- Can you develop within the role?
- What are your 3 main strengths and weaknesses?
- How are you better qualified than others for the role?
Be clear and concise in your answers.
Avoid use of the word ‘we’ when answering (as in working as a team)
Ask if there is anything else they would like to know.
Your questions to the Interviewer
The interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask questions about the role and company. You should aim to ask relevant questions as this shows your interest in the role and Company. It will also demonstrate that you have prepared for the interview.
You could consider asking:
- What are their priorities of the role?
- How do they see the role developing?
- Why is the role available? Is this a new role?
Also consider questions that are forward thinking, for example:
- What are the future objectives of the Company?
- How do they see the market developing over the next 5 years?
- What challenges do they expect to see in the future?
- How does the role fit in with the future of the Company?
These are just some suggestions and each job will come with its own questions. To stand out think of a question that is unexpected and that will make you stand out from other candidates.
As a general rule do not discuss salary at the first interview unless the interviewer brings it up. You want to appear interested in the role rather than the salary. If you are the right person for the job then the salary will reflect this and can be discussed and negotiated if needed at a later stage.
Interviews are a challenge and aimed at being so. Thorough preparation will enable you to remain relaxed, calm and able to respond to the situation. Remember that it is an interview for you and the Company.
Where are you moving?
What is the area like? Research potential locations and consider the cost of living locally, like housing costs, travel, etc.
Research the local culture, as cultural shifts may cause some individuals issues with adaptability and ability to cope with change.
If you have a partner, will they be able to find work? Research the local market to research job prospects. If you have children, will they be happy? Are suitable schooling options close-by?
Will you and your family be happy in your new location? This is a difficult question to answer without living there; however use research to inform an instinctual decision. You may be able to speak to someone else in the Company about coping with the transition.
What is the outlook for your new job? How is the Company doing? Is there clear progression within your role?
What if things do not work out? If it came to the worst, be sure to plan what you would do and whether you can afford to either move again locally or back.