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Preparing for interviews and preparing to win that job

When you're on the hunt for a new job, once your diary is starting to get booked up with interviews it's time for you to think about how to prepare for these meetings.

First things first, remember nerves are natural. Most nerves stem from stepping into the unknown, it may have been a while since your last interview, you might not be ‘a natural’ when it comes to meeting new people.

Whatever it is, the first step is to recognise that some nerves are good for you – they keep you on your toes and keep you on top of your game.

The biggest of all clichés applies the most when seeking a new job and trying to make a good first impression. “Preparation, preparation, preparation!”

Preparing for most eventualities and scenarios should give you an element of confidence and reduce the ‘unknown nerves’ for you.

Take a look at some results of a survey that has been carried out recently – 33% of 2000 hiring managers, business owners and directors claimed they knew within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they were going to hire someone.

It is crucial to make your first impressions the best!

Apart from some of the obvious facts and tips above, at Dove & Hawk we also advise our candidates to:

- Fully understand the job you’re interviewing for

- Update your social media accounts to a professional standard (this REALLY matters in today’s competitive employment market)

- Be humble and understand that most interviewers have had to sit through many interviews that have fallen way short of the mark, so expect scrutiny, expect deep questioning and be understanding that this is fair game. You would do the same if you were in their shoes!

Follow and respect the advice above and I’m sure you can expect an excellent positive response to your interviews.

And if all goes well, you should be expecting a job offer – when you’ve accepted the next step is to thank your recruiter – chocolates, flowers or a referral would go a long way!!

Common interview mistakes

(Taken from a survey of 2,000 directors and business owners)

- Bad posture

- Lack of smile

- Crossing arms

- Fidgeting too much

- Weak handshakes

- Failure to make eye contact

- Too many hand gestures

- Playing with hair or touching face

- Having little or no knowledge of the company

Interview tips

- Research about the job, company and interviewer

- Always smile and be happy

- Have examples to back up your facts. If you say you're hard-working, give an example.

- Be conscious of hygiene. Don't go overboard on aftershave or perfume.

- Unless stated otherwise, dress formally

- If you get a business card – use it. A thank you email goes a long way.

- Arrive roughly 15 minutes prior to your interview.

- Be ready to describe your experience.

- Have a specific job in mind that you want to do.

- Ask the interviewer if they have any reservations about you. This gives you one last opportunity to sell yourself.

*Cristina Catino is Team Co-Ordinator at property recruitment firm Dove & Hawk

**A version of this article was first published on the Dove & Hawk blog

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