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Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2013 at 4:35pm

Interview tips from Cath Strachan

 

FIRST INTERVIEW TIPS

You have applied for the job of your dreams and the good news is that you have been offered an interview.

This could be the turning point of your career – and your life, so what should you do, to make sure you stand out from the rest?

Preparation is crucial, to demonstrate your interest in the company and the role. So, learn as much as possible about the company in advance and plan your questions carefully. This could make all the difference between being selected for a second interview – or not.

For instance, asking the company about its culture and how it is perceived in the market place shows you are seeking a deeper understanding of the business, what it would be like to work there and how you could contribute to its goals.

You might also like to ask what they would expect you to achieve after the first, third and sixth month in the job. This demonstrates that you are already visualising how you could make a success of the role.

It is just as important, though, not to ask questions which could easily create the wrong impression. Asking about holiday entitlement, frequency of salary reviews, the possibility of flexible working hours and whether social media usage would be monitored, are to be avoided, generally speaking.

Another key point to bear in mind for the first interview is to dress appropriately for the job and the company culture. The more you look like someone who already works there, the easier it can be for the interviewer to picture you in the role.

These tips are not guaranteed to get you the job, but knowing you are prepared will boost your confidence levels and put you at ease – which can, in turn, enhance your performance.

Cath Strachan is managing director of MSK Search which specialises in executive search and selection across a wide range of sectors, including pharmaceutical, engineering, oil and gas, sales and medical. MSK Search works with companies in the UK, Scandinavia, the US, Africa, Azerbaijan, Dubai and Singapore. Follow MSK Search on Twitter @msksearch

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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