As a Business Manager for the Temps Division of a recruitment agency, it has come to my attention that some people have no real understanding of what they need to save to have a successful and stress-free retirement! With the first of our candidates auto-enrolling in our pension scheme in April, I felt this was the best time to gather some facts and figures and share the true cost of not saving, and the benefits of when you do!
Sometimes in the midst of all of the preparations – the question practice, the company research and the logistics of reaching the interview location, interviewees often forget that it is their character that can make the greatest impression. Below are a few back-to-basic tips to allow the ‘you’ to shine through at interview:
* Appearance – a future boss will see you before he/she hears you. The same holds true for the rest of the staff – the receptionist, the PA and the other members of the interview panel. Be smart but be comfortable – a nice shirt or blouse can look far more approachable than a stiff suit if you’re not used to wearing one. Don’t be afraid to add a delicate colour or accessory to feel like you, but not too much. Ensure that shoes are clean and smart, your hair is neat, carry any documents in a file and avoid overloading yourself with bags.
Positive attitude – smile and introduce yourself to other staff that you meet, complement the surroundings and sincerely thank anyone who assists you. If you have to make ‘small talk’ on the way to the interview, reiterate how much you are looking forward to the experience – this is far better than complaining about the weather or the traffic or the stairs!
* Self-Confidence – you applied for this job because you believe that you are capable of fulfilling the required duties. The interviewer knows this too – you were shortlisted for a reason. Be enthusiastic about the things that you have yet to learn but remain steadfast in drawing the interview back to your existing skills and experiences. The best way to do this is to be armed with a variety of original and interesting examples of how you meet the role criteria. It is also a good idea to consider the situations that you might face in your desired role and prepare to answer questions on how you have previously dealt with such things or how you might approach them in this company. A great acronym to help you to structure your answers is STAR – situation, task, action, result.
* Work ethic. Before the interview, consider how you would feel about any changes to the advertised package – could you work outside of the stated hours? Would you mind some additional traveling? This will help you to appear calm and adaptable if anything about the post is not exactly as you had gathered from the application documents. Avoid asking questions about holiday/lunch breaks, or at least, do not lead with these. Be prepared to give examples of times when you have worked above and beyond your job requirements and show a general enthusiasm for getting stuck in.