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Our National Careers Service advisers are experts at preparing people for the dreaded interview. Here, adviser Annie Todd gives her key tips for success and warns you about the gaffes you'll definitely want to avoid.

1. Don’t forget the vital documentation
Ensure you have with everything the employer has asked you to provide: passport, proof of address, copies of CV and presentation etc.

KEY TIP: Have everything ready the night before: suitable clothing, copies of your CV, all documentation. If you are being asked to make a presentation take handouts for the interviewer(s) - this will ensure that, even if they are seeing 10 people that day and you are the first, they will remember you).

2. Don’t be late
Whatever the circumstances, even a legitimate excuse will make it hard to bounce back and present yourself properly.

KEY TIP: Research your route - find out the times of public transport or drive to the site to check the timings and where you can park.

3. Don’t show up unprepared
It seems simple, but countless people go to job interviews knowing very little about the company they are interviewing with when all it would take is a simple Google search to find out.

KEY TIP: Research the company, find out as much as you can about them and their ethos so you don’t look as if you've just been lazy and not prepared.

4. Don’t ask about salary, benefits, perks 
Your initial interview with a company shouldn’t be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company.

KEY TIP: You should be selling yourself as to why the company can’t do without you and your interest should be about the job and what your responsibilities will be.

5. Don’t exaggerate
Be honest about your previous roles and responsibilities and don’t lie about skills you don't possess - just offer your enthusiasm for upgrading any skills that may be somewhat rusty.

KEY TIP: Think how you would feel if, on the very first day, they ask you to do something and you really don’t know how.

“He or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but the one who knows the most about how to get hired.” Richard Lathrop, Who's Hiring Who

You'll find more on interview skills on the National Careers Service website. You can also get help from our local advisers

Next time………How to identify your transferable skills.


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