You have recently arrived in the UK and you need to get work straight away, right?
It is important that you find the right job that will use your skills and abilities to maximum advantage – you will get more satisfaction, have the opportunity to build a great portfolio of experience to wow prospective employers with when you get back to Australia, as well as start pulling in those precious pounds to pay for all that travel you have planned in the meantime.
Following these top tips for job interviews will increase your chances of landing the perfect London job.
It’s a CV, not a resume’
The Brits tend to prefer a good old-fashioned, professional ‘CV’ to the Americanised ‘resume’ we seem to opt for in Australia. The difference is actually minimal but nonetheless it’s worthwhile updating yours to a format expected in London.
Check out some of the CV tips and templates offered online by London’s major recruitment agencies and do some tweaking.
Prepare for the interview
The more you know about the company you are seeing, the more you’ll impress your interviewer.
It’s vital that you’re aware of what the company does, their size, and their presence in the marketplace. You should also know how the division you’re being considered for is run. Depending on the job you are going for, it may also be useful to be aware of who the competitors are.
Dress the part
Britain, and London in particular, is a pretty funky place for fashion. But when it comes it the workplace, it can often be quite traditional. The design and tech oriented companies may take their fashion cues from Silicon Valley, but suits are normal in many occupations; and the Brits do love a nice suit, including cuff-links for the guys.
As a rule, play it safe. If you are unsure whether to wear a suit or not, then you definitely DO wear that suit. If you are unsure whether to go heavy on the make-up, then DEFINITELY ease it back a few notches.
Get the job first, then take your cues from your new workmates on what’s acceptable and expected on the job.
Arriving late, hot and bothered will cloud your mind and affect your confidence. Don’t blame the Tube or buses. It’s London…factor in a delay or two and arrive a little early.
Be aware of your body language
The right body language can signal that you’re a confident, competent individual. It sounds obvious enough but in the heat of the moment we can easily forget the basics. Give a firm, but not overtly firm, confident handshake. Relax but sit up straight, do not slouch. Keep eye contact. Don’t fidget. Smile naturally.
Make a great first impression
When meeting potential employers it’s important to remember that first impressions do make a difference. A firm handshake at the start and end of an interview together with your verbal and non-verbal communication is critical to creating a professional image.
How to answer questions
There are some general rules to follow when answering questions:
• Speak in a clear and concise manner
• Answer briefly, but try to avoid “yes” and “no” responses
• Be comfortable about pausing before you answer a question, it shows that you’re thinking and not giving rehearsed answers
• Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer to a question. Employers always value an honest and open response – if you don’t have an example, another way of answering is to say that you haven’t come across this situation previously but if you did you would handle it in “XYZ” way.
• Be prepared for a surprise question, this is often designed to see how you will respond to the unexpected
Closing the interview
• Make sure you have some questions about the job or the company prepared for the interviewer. Remember that an interview is a two-way process, and you need to be sure that you want to join them too. Concentrate on issues that are pertinent to you and of interest to the company.
• Remember to always keep the door open to opportunity. At the end of your interview make sure you thank the client, give a firm handshake, express your interest in the job.
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