First of all – congratulations! Getting an interview is no mean feat, so your CV obviously showed you’re a worthy candidate.
Now all you need to do is make sure you’re fully prepared for the big day - and we’re going to show you how.
Do your research
Nothing annoys recruiters more than interviewing candidates who know nothing about the company. It smacks of laziness. Make sure you do some digging on the internet so you know the following:
- Overview and history of the company and its brands
- Turnover and number of employees
- Direct and indirect competitors
- Market position – is it the market leader? What share do they have?
- Any newsworthy items – recent takeovers or mergers?
Showing the interviewer that you are interested in the company and not just the job will immediately impress them. No recruiter wants an employee who simply works to get paid and isn’t interested in the business.
Pay them a visit as a customer, but don’t let on that it’s you. We highly recommend doing this, not only because it’s a useful exercise, but it’s also rather fun!
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes gives you a great perspective on what is expected of you as an employee, as well as an insight into the business’s strengths and weaknesses.
Pay particular attention to:
Levels of service – Were the staff friendly and approachable? Were you made to feel welcome?
Appearance of staff – Were they presentable? Were their uniforms clean?
Appearance of the venue – Was it clean and well-maintained?
It’s bad form to criticise the company at an interview, but if you can bring some fresh ideas on how you might do things differently, they’ll love you for it.
Make sure you’re ready, then chill out
Prepare as much as you can the night before so you’re not rushing around the next morning when you get up. Iron your clothes and pack a lunch if you plan to take one.
Print off directions to the venue and make sure you know exactly how you’re going to get there and how long it will take. We recommend giving yourself an extra half an hour for delays or getting lost. If you arrive early you can always grab a coffee beforehand.
Have a final scan over any notes you’ve made - then put them down. Your brain needs to switch off now.
Do whatever relaxes you. We recommend a nice, long bath, but avoid that tempting glass of wine that usually goes with it or you won’t sleep properly. Above all, get an early night!
Look the part
It goes without saying that appearances at an interview count for a lot. So dress smartly, cleanly and conservatively – this isn’t the time to experiment with that daring new look.
Call the company and ask for the agenda of the interview. You may be given a tour of the kitchens or grounds, so make sure your clothes can stand humidity or a trip outdoors.
Finally, it goes without saying that stains on your clothing, food in your teeth or cigarette breath won’t go over too favourably, so check yourself thoroughly before you leave and then once again before you meet your interviewer.
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