First Interviews after education made easy

13 08 2009

In a month that sees GCSE, A-level and Scottish Higher results published in the UK, it’s a time of year when several will be just entering the full time job market for the first time.

For those who are perhaps experiencing job interviews for the first time here are some points to consider, to make the whole process easier.

Build a strong foundation

Give a strong first impression. While it is possible to recover from a weak start, why make it harder for yourself? If you’ve got a strong foundation then, just like with constructing a building, it’s a lot easier to deliver strong overall interview.

Things that you may want to consider to ensure a strong start.

  • Presumably if you have an interview there is a strong possibility that the interviewer has already seen your CV or application form but what else do they know about you? What shows up if they do a web search?

You may want to set any social media sites you are a member of to private depending upon the content you have on there. Do you really want your potential boss seeing the pictures of what you got up to last weekend?

  • Be on time. Know the location, time and person that you are meeting in advance.
  • Dress appropriately. Appearance is one of the very first things that an interviewer will notice in a face-to-face interview (obviously this does not apply to a telephone interview.) Use this to set a strong impression.

What message do you want to give?

So building upon a strong start presumably you want to be offered this job. This is the time where you can demonstrate to the interviewer that you are a great fit for what they are seeking.

You can do this not only with your answers but also with your behaviour. Think about what qualities and attitude you want to communicate and how you could do that and stand out from the other candidates.

For example:

  • Bring an extra copy of your CV – The interviewer is likely to have their own copy but this demonstrates forward thinking and shows you are prepared
  • Take your own notepad to take notes of what you are told – This can be a great way to show how interested you are in the business and what your interviewer has to say.
  • Turn up on time – can demonstrate good time keeping and reliability
  • Use appropriate language – for example, some interviewers may view a misplaced joke as not taking the role “seriously.”

Be prepared

Know what you can bring to the role/company. Don’t leave it to chance that the interviewer hits upon the right questions to draw this information out of you mysteriously. Spend some time in advance so you are clear about the difference you can make. If you are clear in the answer yourself, then you are much more likely to be able to communicate that succinctly to your interviewer.

Demonstrate research on company. Don’t just rely upon what you are told in the interview, there is nothing stopping you finding out more in advance – the company website, local papers, word of mouth can all give you extra pieces of information. This not only will help you prepare but it will also give you the opportunity to decide if you want to work for such a business.

Most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions. Make it easy and have some already prepared. Some general questions that fit any role:

  • Why is this position available?
  • Is there any training or induction available?
  • What are the growth plans for the business?
  • What are the promotion prospects for the right candidate?
  • What is the next stage in the interview process?

Attitude and State

Most job roles involve interaction with other people, either external customers or other members of the business. Employers often will take into consideration someone’s attitude. After all they can always teach a new skill or piece of knowledge but you will need to bring the appropriate attitude to the mix.

This is your first interview so let me address any concerns that you may have about a lack of full time experience. I have personally been involved in interviews where one candidate, on paper, had massive amounts of experience. However, during the interview process it was apparent that his attitude was not suitable – he had turned up late, proceeded to try and belittle other candidates and at one stage one of the interviewers, not shown the slightest bit of interest in finding out about the company etc. Needless to say he did not get offered the job and it in fact went to someone who may have needed us to spend a bit of time teaching some new skills and knowledge but we were (correctly) convinced that their attitude would make that easy.

Just because someone has massive amounts of experience it does not mean that they are the ideal fit for a role, or what the company is looking for. Concentrate on demonstrating what you can do and your attitude and state can make a huge influence.

  • Relax; don’t be nervous – contrary to the common belief you don’t have to be nervous at job interviews. There are many ways of feeling something other than nerves in an interview from being aware of your breathing rate to keeping it in perspective. Find the ways that work for you and use them. [If you want extra support with this check out my dealing with interview nerves MP3 or interactive coaching program]
  • Remember your manners – It’s remarkable how many candidates get so caught up in the moment they forget to say thank you if provided with a drink etc.
  • Switch your mobile phone off, not only can it disturb the flow of your answer if it goes off at the wrong time, it is also polite.
  • Follow up after the interview with a quick thank you for meeting me. Even if you don’t get this job by standing out from the rest you never know what you may get invited to apply for in the future.

Answer the question asked

This may seem an obvious statement but presumably the interviewer is asking a question because they want to know your answer. Make sure that you give them that information. If you are not sure if you have provided them with all the information, you can always ask them if they want to know more detail or if that answered their question. This gives the interviewer the option of rephrasing the question to be more specific about what they actually wanted to know.

Interviewers may not always be the most skilled at communicating what they want to know. If there is anything that you are unsure about clarify what they mean. It is so much easier to provide them with a clear answer if you understand what they asked.

Finally, remember that an interview is a two way process. It is not only the interviewers chance to check out if you fit with what they are looking for but also your chance to check if you want to be spending a lot of your time and energy in that business.

An interviewers role may be to put you at your ease but that does not mean that they (a) have the skills to do that, (b) want to or (c) they may be too nervous themselves even if they have the skills. Don’t leave it to chance, take responsibility to do everything you can to make a difference for you so you can give the strongest interview you can.


Dealing With Interview Nerves MP3 available

30 04 2009


Unlike in previous generations, and particularly in today’s economic climate, very few people stay in a job all their working life. This means that your performance in interviews can have a profound effect upon your future.

Its been said that behind not having the right experience, the most common reason for people failing an interview is nerves and appearing to lack confidence – it can eliminate your chances of getting the job.

Interview nerves can effect you in different ways, before and during an interview, with symptoms including:

o Sleepless nights
o Thumping heart
o Cold sweats
o Dry mouth
o Shaky hands
o “Butterflies in stomach”

The effect of interview nerves can mean that you:

o Appear unconfident while being hesitant and uncertain
o Loose your focus or “go blank”
o Blush, sweat or generally fidget excessively
o Rambling in your answers and never actually making a point

“Dealing with Interview Nerves” takes you by the hand and lead you through a series of techniques, exercises and questions all designed to make a difference for you. “Dealing with interview nerves” not only gives you control over the symptoms it means that your thought process can be clearer. The conversation and dialogue that follows between you and your future employer can only benefit from such a process.

This MP3 recording is approximately 47 minutes long and is designed for you to easily interact with the material. Written and read by trainer and coach Jen Waller, Jen has taken her experience with individuals and groups alike to create “Dealing with interview nerves.” It is designed to hand you the control back and let you get the most from the interview process.

Listen to a sample clip by pressing play.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you suffer from Interview nerves, investing in finding the things that make the difference to you will have big benefits. It can have an impact upon your career development and raise your confidence. Dealing With Interview Nerves is just £7.99 and can be downloaded for an immediate start by following the link below.


What Do You Believe?

31 03 2009

“Out of our beliefs are born deeds: out of our deeds we form habits; out of our habits grows our character; and on our character we build our destiny.”
(Henry Hancock)

I’ve been preparing for the first teleclass in the Confidence for Job Seekers program that’s happening later today. (See the PS below for more about this.) The topic is Dealing with Interview Nerves and I’ve come across some interesting comments and beliefs about interview nerves. These things can easily get in peoples way of doing their best.

This is not something confined to the subject of being nervous at interviews. I often find that what is keeping someone stuck in a situation or from taking action is a unrecognised belief.

Read the rest of this entry »


Only 24 hours …

10 03 2009


the Confidence for Job Seekers

prize draw closes.


Don’t miss out – visit Confidence for Job Seekers to find out more.


Confidence for Job Seekers

26 02 2009




I’m delighted to announce the launch of my Confidence for Job Seekers program.

Increasingly over recent times I have been getting more and more enquiries and been doing even more work about building confidence in relation to jobs and career.

Comments such as

Putting myself out there scares me
I always get really nervous before and during interviews
I secretly doubt that I am the best for the job
I hate the prospect of having everyone’s attention on me
I have no idea how to go about “selling myself”
I fear that I will be discovered as not being good enough

are becoming more common from both those I’m starting to work with personally and arriving in my inbox as general questions.

There are easy to use methods and techniques that can make a huge positive difference with all these, and similar questions and concerns. I know that when you are job hunting you can be short on finance as well as time.

So I’ve created a solution that takes all that into account. Because it has different levels of support. That way you can pick the one that fits your needs and make it easy on your pocket.

Click here for the full details of what each level provides.

Here’s just a short list of the many things you can learn how to do:

Deal with interview nerves – for before and during.
Including a technique to give you an immediate quick burst of confidence
Discover methods that mean your past does not have to affect how you feel about your future jobs
Acknowledge your achievements rather than cringing at being the focus of attention
Change the way you think about selling yourself
Overcome fear of failure

Alongside the Confidence for Job Seekers packages I also have a bonus prize draw to win 6 x 45 minute coaching calls with myself, everybody who books one of the Confidence for Job Seekers packages before 1am (UK time) 11th March 2009 will automatically be entered into the draw.

Give yourself the advantage that other job hunters won’t have. Put yourself above those who don’t know how to use these tips and techniques to increase their confidence.

By Booking one of the Confidence for Job Seekers packages take control of the impression you want to give your future employers.

Click here for the full details of what each level provides.


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