How to Find a Job
This ultimate resource will cover everything you need to know about making a successful career change., we will walk you through everything! Prestige's 'Finding a New Job' web page together with our downloadable companion brochure 'The Ultimate Guide to Get Your Dream Job' will take you through all the processes, from thinking about your move, to successfully securing that new career.
So, the day has come – it’s time to find a new job. This may be daunting, but it’s actually a huge opportunity! Every time you seek a new job, it’s a chance to use your skills and talents a whole different way. That can lead to satisfaction and personal growth.
The job search process has become complex, and it’s not unusual to feel a bit overwhelmed. Remember, you’re in control. As a job-seeker, you have access to more postings and more information than ever before. The power to connect with an ideal job is at your fingertips! This article aims to walk you through everything you need to know. Whether you have decided it’s time to move on, or have just been let go, all the information is here for you at your fingertips to get the best possible results. So let’s get going! But, before we do, if you have not got time to read all this now or want a quick download that covers all the essentials, download our Ultimate Guide, people swear by it!!
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Take Time to Reflect on Your Recent Work Experience
Reflection is a great thing! It helps to cement in your mind the things that you want to do and achieve going forward. It’s always a good idea to at least take a weekend and decompress before you even begin your job search.
Start by Analysing Your Last Job and Asking Yourself This:
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment within your job?
What opportunities, if any, do you feel have been missed in your job?
What was the part of the job you found most enjoyable or fulfilling?
What was the part of the job you found most stressful or unpleasant?
These are details that can help you select your best next step. It is crucial to think about them right away, as your recollection will start to fade before too long. Many people find it jogs their thinking to write these answers out, so you can then refer to them while working out what you want to do, and later when working on your CV.
By answering the above questions you may already know exactly what you want to do for your next role. If you are not looking to find a new career path, then miss the next section out and move on to ‘Take Care of The Basics’. But, if you are unsure of what you want to do then read on, this will help you decide what you are really looking for in a new role.
Figuring out a career change can be a big thing, so before we tell you how to find one you will love maybe have a quick look at this short blog, '5 Things You Need to Hear If You Want to Change Career'
Timing and location are they important?
Having a degree, does it help you get that job?
Having the right skills.
It’s a process.
Finding A Career Path You Love
Maybe you now think you need a change, a new challenge, something that will stoke your enthusiasm for the next few years. Deciding on the right career path can be quite a difficult decision. Whether you’re just starting the search for the ‘right’ job or are someone who is just after a complete career change, finding a job that you love is important. Most of your week is spent at work and although it can be daunting, finding the perfect fit is not as difficult as you think. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of five questions that you need to ask yourself to pinpoint your perfect career and ensure you have all the right knowledge to secure that role!
1) What Do You Enjoy Doing?
The first thing that will help you find the right job is to think about what you enjoy or have enjoyed doing. Did you enjoy media at school? Do you enjoy taking photos? Once you have pinpointed the exact area you are interested in, it will make it easier to filter through the industries you love.
2) What Jobs Are Related To This Area?
If you’ve decided on the field you enjoy, you should research the types of jobs you can do within that area. For example, if you enjoyed media at school – you could do tonnes of things. You could become anything from a journalist to a content creator. Another really useful way of deciding on a job is to go and see a career adviser who will be able to show you jobs within specific industries.
3) Can You Imagine Yourself In This Role?
Once you’ve decided on a job that sounds interesting in a field that you enjoy, you should research the day-to-day responsibilities of an individual within this role. You can do this by simply searching for job descriptions online! If it sounds like something you could imagine yourself doing, you’re a step closer to finding a job you love.
4) Do You Have Relevant Experience?
If you do, fab! If you don’t, now is the time to get some. Loads of companies across the UK allow people to come and shadow their employees in order to get a deeper insight into that career path. For example, if you want to become a radio producer, look into local and student radio stations that may let you go and get some experience!
5) Do You Have The Right Skills & Qualifications?
If you look at job descriptions for the job you would like to do, you can see what skills and experience you need to get into that career field. Tailoring your skills and qualifications to the career you want couldn’t be easier once you know what you need!
Once you’ve got the right skills, qualifications and experience and know exactly the industry you want to get into, all that’s left to do is apply. But before we do that let's take care of the basics!
Take Care of the Basics With Preparation For Your Job Search
To prepare for your job search, get any information you need from your previous employer. If you still have documentation that tells you about your personal contribution to the workplace – money saved, revenue added, and so on – preserve any non-confidential details.
You will use those insights when it’s time to make your value clear in your CV (curriculum vitae).
If you’ve been let go, you can also feel free to gather recommendations from your colleagues and supervisors. No matter what the circumstances, you’re sure to find a few co-workers who have a unique insight into your skills. Now’s the time to get their testimonials on LinkedIn.
If you are leaving for your own reasons or find yourself conducting a job search while still employed, discretion is the key. Use the resources available to you, but be careful about social media activity or anything else that might suggest you are ready to depart.
If the circumstances of your transition aren’t favourable, beware the temptation to burn bridges. While it might be satisfying to be “brutally honest,” it’s unlikely to change company culture or leadership issues – and may simply leave you out in the cold.
For more on this we have a great blog, read Your Exit Interview: How Honest Should You Be?
Getting The Best Out of Your Job Application
In today’s world, applying for jobs couldn’t be easier and recruitment companies such as ourselves make it so easy for you to apply to the perfect job. But regardless of whether you use a recruitment agency or apply directly for a vacancy, chances are, you’re going to need a CV. Some companies may even ask for a Cover Letter! But do not despair, Prestige Recruitment Group are here to walk you through this part of your job search, and have compiled some top tips and advice to help you create the best CV and Cover Letter you possibly can.
Start Thinking About Preparation For Your Curriculum Vitae
Before you can seek a new job, you’ll have to update your CV (Curriculum Vitae). To do that, you should think back to those questions you asked yourself earlier, look at your notes and reflect on the job you have left or are about to leave.
Today’s CVs often go through several rounds of vetting before they reach a hiring manager. Some steps are automated, while others may be handled by employees far removed from the final choice. When a decision-maker reads a CV, the first impression is formed in seconds.
This might make it seem like the odds of getting noticed are remote. To the contrary, job-seekers who know how to present their unique value have a tremendous advantage compared to those who, through lack of planning or misinformation, fail to do so.
The thing to remember is this: You don’t have to be the “perfect” candidate! This may not seem to make sense, surely you think, they want the perfect fit? Well, we are here to tell you the perfect candidate doesn’t exist, and those that handle hiring know this. Hiring for 60%-70% of the skills listed in a job posting is not unusual. You can make up for any shortfall by your attitude and being prepared! Enthusiasm, positivity and being open to new challenges go a long way!
What Are Hiring Managers Looking For in a Successful CV?
1) Clarity – Whether your values match the corporate culture and how well you understand it.
2) Incisive, specific statements about how you add value to the overall company.
3) Insight into your leadership style, operational skills, technical skills, and key credentials.
To stand out, think achievements, not duties, duties are day-to-day responsibilities that keep your head above water. For example, if you are in sales and have a £100,000 quota, meeting it is your duty. If you exceed that figure by £50,000 by building deeper client relationships, that is an achievement.
While your duties should always be included in your CV, strive to go beyond them to your achievements. These will help you stand out and give a better sense of how you can contribute.
Remember, a generic CV is nowhere near as effective as one targeted to a specific job. Using key phrases from a job posting can help you succeed when your CV is scanned by automated Applicant Tracking Software (ATS).
An ATS often scores CVs based on their use of key phrases from the job posting. To figure out the right terminology, gather a selection of 3-4 job postings for similar roles. You’re sure to find patterns in the required skills and duties.
Okay, so we have given you a bit of insight into how the CV’s get looked at, used, and interpreted. Now is the time to nail down your CV
The 10 Golden Rules Of Writing & Crafting Your CV
The 10 Golden Rules Of Writing & Crafting Your CV
Here are the ten stages of writing a CV broken down into easy steps. (We weren’t lying when we said we’d walk you through everything!)
1) Prepare Your CV In Advance
Preparing your CV before you start searching the job boards or contacting recruitment agencies means that when you do start looking for vacancies, you can apply immediately with your finished CV! This is so much better than having to rush to finish the document before vacancy closing dates. Rushing only means that you’ll miss something important!
2) Display Your Details Clearly Across the Top of Your CV
If your contact details are clearly displayed, it saves the employer having to search through your whole CV just to find your number. Making it easy to get into contact with you makes future employers more likely to pick up the phone and call you.
3) Start With Your Most Recent Information on Your CV
Format your CV so that your most recent information is the first thing the employer will see. You don’t want the employer thinking you have no relevant experience in the field you want to work in when you do – it’s just below everything else.
5) Avoid Writing Irrelevant Information
Your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages. Use plain English, avoid clichés and make sure you’re not waffling. You don’t have to write every bit of information from your qualifications – if you have a degree, the grades you got for each GCSE subject you studied aren’t important! Decide what the most important information is, and get rid of everything else.
6) Make Your CV Easy To Read
The presentation of your CV is also very important! Try and space items evenly and fragment long paragraphs with line breaks and bullet points. Avoid colours and big fonts!
7) Make Your CV Relevant
If you are applying to multiple positions within an industry, you should edit your CV slightly to include keywords from the relevant specific job description. All of your employment and education history will stay the same, but just adjust what you’ve written to specific job roles.
8) Check For Mistakes
Check, double check and triple check your CV. Mistakes will not make you come across well. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you have to come across well in written form too. Make sure you used something like Grammarly, or get someone to proofread everything for you!
9) Take A Break And Reflect
If you’ve been spending a lot of the day editing your CV, you may have missed something really small like chopping the end of a sentence. If you have time, leave it overnight and come back to it in the morning.
10) Always Have Someone Check Over Your CV
It is always worth having someone such as a friend or family member check over it. They will supply a fresh pair of eyes and they might spot something you’ve missed.
Once you’ve finished your CV, you can apply to as many jobs as you need! If the company asks for a Covering Letter too, don’t worry, just read on!
Writing The Perfect Covering Letter
You’ve finished your CV – great! It’s the time to write your Covering Letter!
Most jobs nowadays require one – but don’t stress it. Grab this chance to show your potential employer exactly why you’re the best candidate for the job! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to completely nail it.
1) Address Your Covering Letter To The Right Person
This will take a little research on your part – but try and find out the name of the specific person who will be reading your CV. If you can’t find it online, don’t hesitate to call the company and enquire. Finding this out shows the company that you are serious about your application and that you respect the manager enough to find out their name.
2) Put Emphasis On What You Can Do For The Company
If the employer gets the feeling you just want the job for superficial reasons, they’re unlikely to pick up the phone and call you. Therefore, try your hardest to illustrate your knowledge, skills and passion for the industry you are applying for.
3) Don’t Just Repeat Your CV
You’ve just found out how to write the perfect CV, so you don’t need to write another one. Elaborate on your relevant experience and emphasise what skills you can take to the potential employer, but don’t simply repeat the information you’ve already told them on the CV.
4) Adjust Your Covering Letter For Every Position You Apply For
Hiring managers can tell when your covering letter is stock – so adjust each one slightly to make it more specific. Add facts or information about the company which illustrates you have done your research
5) Edit & Proofread
Ensure that there’s no mismatched information on your covering letter. It can be easy to send something to potential employers with the wrong name or company – which is a complete no-no! Double check before you hit that send button.
How to Write Speculative Cover Letters
A speculative cover letter should accompany your CV whenever you apply to a company that is not actively advertising for staff.
While a CV should focus on your fit for a particular position, a speculative cover letter must be more general. It should present the highlights of your credentials so readers quickly ascertain the value you have to offer and feel motivated to review your CV in detail.
As well as all the previous information on writing a cover letter, speculative cover letters should also include:
Basic personal details including name, address, phone, and email
The name of the hiring decision-maker or “Dear Sir/Madam” if you do not have it
A paragraph outlining why you wish to work for the company and in what role
A paragraph expanding upon your most relevant skills and career background
A closing paragraph summarising what makes you the “best fit”
An acknowledgement of gratitude for their time and a professional sign-off
Try to keep your speculative cover letter within 150-200 words. Use whitespace so it is easy to skim the text and focus on key ideas. Bullet points and judicious use of bold text – just a little here and there – also makes finding the most important points easier.
Most employers will get in touch but may take their time doing so, especially if they receive a high volume of enquiries. If you have not heard from a prospective employer within 2-4 weeks, feel free to follow-up and ensure your speculative cover letter was safely received.
Clean Up Your Social Media Presence For Your Job Interview
Although there is no telling what the future holds, social media laws in the United Kingdom and Europe are shifting to provide broader powers to employers: A recent ruling gave employers the power to read private social media messages sent on company time. This article from the BBC sheds a bit more light on the subject https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35301148. I think it is safe to say it will become more of a topical debate as the years go by. Elsewhere in the world, some employers have gained the ability to demand social media passwords from employees. With this in mind, it’s never been more critical to keep your social media presence professional.
These steps can help you protect yourself from social media that might leave a poor impression on a future employer:
If friends or family members upload an unsuitable photo, ask them to take it down.
Restrict privacy settings on any risqué photos or videos only to close, trusted friends.
Share only career-focused content on LinkedIn; keep fun to Facebook and Twitter.
Take care to be civil when making website comments associated with your real name.
Where rules permit, consider having separate social accounts for work and pleasure.
Many Millennials have “gone underground” to exclude their social media from the prying eyes of employers. They often use a nickname as their displayed name, post illustrations or older photos as profile pictures, and do not connect with family members or co-workers.
This approach is likely to become more common with time and can help people of any age that want to remain social with their friends without day-to-day chats falling under HR scrutiny.
Still, the possibility that social media can harm your career is not bounded by age, gender, or background. However, you choose to use social media, be smart!
Build Your Professional Brand Online For Better Job Prospects
Using digital platforms wisely can enhance your career. Even if you haven’t had the chance to strengthen your brand online, there are steps you can take that will yield dividends fast.
The most critical thing you can devote time to online is your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is where recruiters and potential employers will look first when assessing your online impact.
An effective LinkedIn profile includes:
Clear headshot or bust photograph in professional attire and good lighting.
A Complete professional summary, headline, and all educational credentials.
Links to any career-focused websites or career project information online
Membership in LinkedIn Groups relevant to your industry or career goals
Those who wish to go a step further can benefit from pursuing online thought leadership. Thought leadership is your contribution to conversations on key topics in your industry. Thought leaders share their opinions on recent trends and events pertinent to their profession.
Even if you do not consider yourself a writer, you can present your credentials in the best light by providing your take on industry news or conferences. It is the ability to formulate an opinion and share it consistently (say, once a week) that makes the difference.
This can help in situations where it takes a bit longer to find your next position. Bolstering your credibility online will demonstrate your continued engagement with the vital issues in your field.
Utilising Job Boards
As your job search begins, you could establish a separate email account with Gmail or a similar service to collect job postings relevant to your skills and interests. It’s useful to keep these separate from your main email address since signing up for job boards often leads to quite a lot of email.
Job boards allow you to receive regular alerts when a position matching your requirements is posted. You can review these once or twice a week to understand the job market in your area and take action on any opportunities that meet your needs. The sooner you can act, the better.
Some of the top job boards throughout the UK include:
There are many more than just these, but It’s a good idea to choose just one or two general job search boards as you may find yourself receiving the same postings from multiple sites. Specialised boards, on the other hand, are more likely to provide you with opportunities that are difficult to find elsewhere.
A word of caution: Although job boards can provide valuable insights, be careful about posting your CV. Scammers often use these sites to gather personal details for their own purposes. If you post, use your dedicated job search email and do not include your full postal address.
Networking is the not-so-secret key to the invisible job market, that treasure trove of positions not announced in public forums. Networking is indispensable for accessing many mid-career and executive roles that would never appear on your radar otherwise.
While many people are intimidated by networking, simply deciding to start is the essential first step. Choosing the right venues for networking will make it easier. Think in terms of reciprocity: You do not network merely to “sell” yourself, but to find areas of common interest.
Networking opens a pathway toward mutually beneficial collaboration.
Here’s how to get started:
1) Attending Career Fairs
A career fair is a face-to-face networking event at which you speak to many recruiters and hiring leaders. It is not uncommon to schedule an interview right away after meeting the right contact at a career fair. Be sure to bring plenty of copies of your CV and business cards, if you use them. Stick to professional attire as if you are going to an important meeting.
2) Request Informational Interviews
Find someone in an organisation who works in the type of role you are looking for, whether in the same department or holding the same job title. Connect on LinkedIn and request a short meeting where you can ask questions about the particulars of the job. You may meet the right person to move you forward. Either way, you will have more information than you began with.
3) Tap LinkedIn Connections
In the UK and elsewhere, a great deal of recruitment has moved onto the LinkedIn platform. By making your job search known, you’ll have the chance to attract interest passively and actively. Put yourself on the market by talking to colleagues, but don’t limit yourself to people you know. Post on Groups and make introductions to hiring decision-makers to accelerate the process. But remember, this is not advisable if you are trying to be discreet and don’t want your existing company to know what you are doing.
4) Use a Recruiting Firm
Employers often hire recruiting firms to find job candidates. These firms, in turn, help ensure each candidate is a true best-fit for the job. Using a good recruitment company can really help shortcut the job searching lottery. Instead of having to wade through lots of jobs and data to find something suitable, a recruitment company can really help. If you pick your recruitment company wisely, one that specialises in the field of your profession then they can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you! Have a look at our blog article here on How to find a good recruitment company. Do your research to ensure the firm has strong connections in your industry and has a good ethos and reputation before you commit.
At last, you’ve learned you have been chosen for an interview.
Very few of all candidates receive an interview for any open position. If you have gotten this far, you’ve already beaten the odds – and you’ve built momentum. Someone has a positive first impression of you. Now, you only need to build on that.
It’s helpful to ask the question:
What is an interview really for?
Employers have several purposes for an interview:
1) Gaining insight into your personality and whether you will work well within the group
2) Providing an extra layer of certainty that you have the abilities your CV has attested to
3) Validating their impression that you’ll bring value to their organisation
From the perspective of an employer, the interview prevents costly mistakes. If the wrong person is chosen, separating from them and starting the hiring process again is a serious investment. All the while, opportunities are being missed thanks to the unfilled role.
So, as important as an interview is for you, it is no easy task for interviewers, either. Inexperienced interviewers can even be nervous about their performance. Try to go in with the mindset that you are evaluating the company and role for a mutual best fit – not showing up with hat in hand. Now we have understood that, let's go on to prepare for the interview!
Preparing For The Interview
When most people think of interview preparation, they focus on memorising exact answers for specific questions they might be asked. While this is intuitive, it can be self-sabotaging. Very few people can remember the precise wording of an answer for a given situation.
Inevitably, it will feel robotic and the feeling of forgetting what you wanted to say will drag you down. That can start you down a path of worry that will make it harder and harder to maintain your performance later. With all this in mind, we have devised four great strategies for you that will work better than memorising exact answers. They will add to your confidence within the interview too, here they are…
The Four Strategies That Will Work For you!
Strategy 1: Don’t Memorise the Exact Answer, Remember the Ideas Behind the Answer
Although memorising exact answers to interview questions won't really help that much. You should still be prepared and ready for questions you know the interviewers are likely to ask you based on your CV.
There are powerful alternatives to memorisation of interview questions. Thinking of the general flow of an answer instead of an exact answer will help you feel ready for the question. Your answer will also be more natural for you. Revise for the idea and the thread of the conversation around typical interview topics. Even if you don't think of everything you are going to be asked, it will cover most things. For the rest go with your gut, be truthful and be yourself! Interviews are as much based on personality as they are getting all the questions right. So let your personality come across and shine. After you have gone through our 4 strategies you will feel super prepared, and that will breed confidence.
How to Prepare for Interview Questions
In any interview, you know you will be asked about your strengths, weaknesses, previous roles, and career goals. Writing your thoughts on these subjects can clarify your responses. You do not need to follow a specific plan: Simply write for five to six uninterrupted minutes on each of these subjects. Then, use a highlighter to mark off anything you want to be sure you communicate in an interview. Re-read these highlighted responses a few times before the interview and just think about them. Again, treat it as a preparation on ideas and key points you want to express on the road of conversation, not of exact answers.
Some examples of questions are listed below, remember don't stress about learning them all, just be aware of them. It will become apparent to you the questions that you think you will need to brush up on.
Dealing With Long Periods of Unemployment In An Interview
First, let's deal with this one as it deserves a deeper dive than most questions. It is worth taking a deeper look at this If you have had a long period of unemployment, as you might be asked what you did during that time period.
If you’re switching industries, you may be asked to discuss your motivation for doing so. You should always anticipate being asked to explain why you departed your previous job. No matter what the question, thinking of your career until now as a growth experience will help you answer. Learn this approach and you can adapt to any interview faster. Few career situations are complete failures – don’t be tempted to whine over what are, after all, learning experiences.
If you have been unemployed, focus your response on any volunteering, reading, coursework, or other preparation you made for your next role. If you are switching industries, describe the ways your skills will transfer over to a new profession and why you are looking forward to it.
No matter what comes up, never disclose negative information about a past employer. The way you discuss your career to date is the way interviewers will expect you to talk about them someday in the future. Respectful politeness and candor can co-exist!
If you have strong feelings about the circumstances under which you left your job, give yourself extra time to decide how to address that question. It could sound more rehearsed than your other answers, but the effort to be tactful will reflect well on you.
Some Common Interview Questions to Prepare for:
Tell Me About Yourself - Pretty self-explanatory. Keep your answer to the point and about work. The employer wants to know about where you are professionally.
What Do You Know About Our Company? - The potential employer is gauging how serious you are about the job by seeing how much research you’ve done. Make sure you’ve done that research.
Why Do You Want This Job? - Be honest. This is the perfect opportunity for you to show your passion for the role you have applied for.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? - Don’t lie. If you were fired, own up to it and show what you’ve learned from the experience. If you voluntarily left, be sure to explain why.
What Are Your Strengths? - The floor is yours! Grab hold of this question and guide the interview where you want it to go. Highlight a strength that’s crucial for the position you have applied for.
What Are Your Weaknesses? - Everyone hates this question. Don’t pick something that isn’t really a weakness – the employer can see straight through that. Pick a weakness that isn’t too crucial to the job and make sure you let the employer know you’re aware this is a weakness but you’re working on it.
What Is Your Biggest Achievement? - Talk about something you’re genuinely proud of. It will come across as honest and illustrate your passion. Try and pick an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and the position you’ve applied for.
What Motivates You? - Talk about how you want to learn new things and how much the company can teach you. Don’t just say money.
What Do You Do Outside Of Work? - This isn’t a trick question! The employer wants to get to know more about you as a person. Let the employer know you’re human.
Do You Have Any Questions For Me? - The answer is always yes! Read Strategy 4 and do your research.
Strategy 2: Mock Interviews
Mock interviews are held during some career fairs. In these events, you field questions from a facilitator exactly as you would in an interview. Facilitators usually have a background in hiring or communication. They will provide feedback not only on responses, but also any body language or verbal cues you might not be aware of.
Doing a mock interview with a friend can be helpful, but don’t expect that person to speak with authority on hiring. Instead, record your session so you can review it later. Notice areas where you sounded unsure, mumbled, stuttered, or exhibited anxious body language. This will clue you in on areas in which you need further practise.
Strategy 3: Practise in Front of the Mirror
Using a Mirror For Practising Interviews
Yes, I know, you're thinking what, a mirror?! Come on, how many times have you walked by one and struck that 007 or Victoria Beckham pose! Professional speakers use this as a tool and often practise in front of the mirror so they can focus on how they look and feel while they talk. Look your reflection in the eye while you discuss your career to date. Remember to smile and keep your body language open and relaxed. Believe it or not, this will be helpful in phone interviews too since a smile can help you maintain the right tone of voice.
Try to observe yourself in action. Look out for the tendency to talk faster as you go – don’t forget to pause for breath! Watch for changes in body language, especially “closed off” signs like crossing arms. When do you lose eye contact with yourself? This can indicate things that worry you.
Leave yourself time for enough sessions to get familiar with how you feel when you practise. You might learn something about yourself you never even suspected. Many an interviewee has discovered a habit that needs work ... for example, sticking the tongue out when concentrating!
On a final note: You’ll almost certainly be seated when you are interviewed, so you should also spend some of your time practising it sitting. This will help prime your mind and body. Be aware of any tendency to slouch or slump – gently correct yourself if you notice any mistakes. Putting your time into this may pay dividends, just remember no guns or singing spice up your life and you will be fine!
Strategy 4: Develop Some Questions for Your Interviewer
Questions For Job Interviews
Virtually all interviews end with the interviewers asking if you have any questions for them. Failing to ask any questions is a serious faux pas! Think of one or two questions in advance, but also be ready to ask a question based on the information you learn during the interview.
Remember, the questions you pose during the interview should not concern benefits or compensation. There’ll be plenty of time to pore over those details when you get your statement of employment particulars. For now, try to learn something only your interviewers can tell you.
Although it may not always feel like it, interviews are a two-way street. They are a great way for a potential employer to get to know you and your working history, but they are also a fantastic way for you to get to know your potential employer and their company.
Here are some questions you may want to ask at the end of an interview:
What are the challenges of this position?
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?
What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
What are your top priorities for the person in this position during the first 30 days?
What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
How would you describe the company’s culture?
Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
Who do you consider to be your top competitor, and why?
How do you celebrate accomplishments and achievements here?
Is there anything we haven’t covered that you think is important to know about working for yourself?
How did you get into this field of work?
What do you find is the biggest challenge working here?
What do you like about working for this company?
Pre-Interview Checklist A Week Before The Interview
In the week leading up to your interview, do some basic things that will help you:
Check the employer’s website for new information that might be relevant
Clean and press an appropriate outfit and have it ready 2-3 days in advance
Re-read your CV to familiarise yourself with what your interviewer knows
Verify that you know when and where your interview is and how to get there
These are small things, but they will be a load off your mind in the future when you might be feeling tense. Taking care of them will eliminate distractions and potentially harrowing mistakes.
The Night Before The Day Of Your Interview
Investing time and energy into interview preparation makes everything easier. Much like a university exam, you should not try to “cram” as the day approaches. If you have planned and practised the previous week, simply relax on the day before. This refreshes you and helps your memory.
The day before your interview, verify the time and location. Be sure you know how to get there and how long the journey takes. Print your CV and any additional documents – like letters of recommendation, press clippings, publications, or project information – and put them in a folder. You can leave this portfolio with your interviewers to refer to, helping them remember you.
Get plenty of sleep the night before. Go to bed about an hour early, in case it’s hard to fall asleep as quickly as you usually do. Get up half an hour early so you’ll be able to react to unforeseen events in the morning without rushing. Following your usual morning routine will help you stay calm and centred.
Your preparation is complete. Go forward with confidence knowing you’ve truly done all you can to make your big day successful! Don’t overthink the interview itself: Smile, make good eye contact and listen closely. If you are not sure what a question means, ask for clarification. It is always better to get more information rather than misinterpret what is being said.
Post Interview Follow Up
After the interview, there’s one more thing you can do to further set yourself apart from all the other candidates. Within 24 hours, send a “thank you” letter to your interviewers. It might take you only five minutes, but it can make the winning difference for your job candidacy.
Your letter should address your interviewer(s) by name; verify spelling at the front desk if needed.
Start by expressing gratitude for the interviewers’ time – this is the key point!
Reiterate your enthusiasm, mentioning something you learned in the interview and state that you look forward to hearing from them in the future.
Interviewers can go through dozens of candidates in a week and they appreciate having their efforts recognised. Although it could seem like ordinary politeness, only a small fraction of interviewees will take this step. A handwritten note used to be the norm, but these days, email is acceptable as the best way to make sure your message reaches all of its recipients promptly.
Wow, did you really read all this? Well done, James and Victoria would be proud! If you don’t know what I mean by this, you did not read it all, did you?!
If you have gone through most of this, congratulations you have now given yourself a massive advantage over your competitors! You may be thinking you would like some notes on all this to take away, well we have you covered for that too. Just download our invaluable 'Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Dream Job' and keep it with you all the time to reference. It can really make a difference to just brush up on a topic or cast your eye over it before the interview!
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