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It is almost impossible to receive a job offer without first Attending an Interview of some sort, and who would want to take a job without first meeting their boss and perhaps a few colleagues?

The secret of a successful interview lies in preparation, so it's worth spending a little time doing your homework to make it a positive, useful experience.

Good employers understand the pitfalls of interviewing, such as the tendency people to recruit in their own image, but the process is slowly becoming more structured, sophisticated and balanced. Indeed, in some sectors the humble interview has been practically elevated to an art form, such as the travel or hospitality industries, requiring jobseekers to sing, dance or even cook in order to better assess applicants.



  • Research the organisation and its sector - look at the web site, read the annual report, or quiz anyone you know who has worked there.

  • Prepare answers to what you think are standard questions.

  • Be ready with a few questions for the interviewer which show that you have done your homework about the organisation and its business and you have thought about the interview beforehand.

  • Check the format of the interview - for example will there be any assessments or skills testing?

  • Dress appropriately

  • Check buses/trains/parking/directions and how long it will take to get there.

At the interview

Turn up on time and be nice to everyone you meet from the receptionist onwards - you never know who might have a say about you getting the job. If it is a panel interview (more than one person) then make sure you talk to everyone, rather than directing your answers at just one or two people only. Find out as much as you can about the job - how else will you be able to decide if you want it should they offer the job to you?

For example, you should want to know who the job reports to and why it has become vacant. If the first interview is with a recruitment agency, pump them for as much information as possible about the organisation and the job. Ask when you will hear if they are going to offer you the job or if you have made it to the next round of the recruitment process, and what that will involve.

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