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Job interview tips

Posted on 07 June 2013

580773 dont be late

Applying for a job these days seems like an uphill struggle but there are some things you can do to make it easier. 

• Make sure you have two references that you can use and always tell them if you are going to an interview so that they are prepared for a call from the employer.
• Get a good CV together and show it to as many people as possible to get ideas on how to improve it
• Make sure there are no gaps on your CV – if you are unemployed do some volunteering so that you can develop your skills and employability.
• Register for job alerts on the internet so that you are first to know what is available
• Register for apprenticeships on
• Dress smart and take your CV to shops around West End and Camden market – many employers do not advertise so if they like you they may hire you on the spot
• Get some qualifications whilst you are looking – Westminster Kingsway run courses for all ages 020 7025 1983 in business admin, retail, digital media etc; London Community Resource Network run courses for 19+ on 020 7324 4690; and Princes Trusts do week and two week training with qualifications 020 7543 1451in beauty, retail, catering, construction.
• You can register with agencies such as Hays, Reed or Adecco but you must ring them every week as they will not necessarily ring you unless you show you are keen
• You can also register with organisations that will help you look for work such as Employment Skills 020 7388 7313; Haven Youth Centre 020 7681 8643; City Lit 020 7492 2500; Under 25s Centre 020 7974 7252; West Euston One Stop Shop 020 7388 6007; Reed in Partnership 020 7644 6990; Remploy (disabilities) 0300 456 8035; Elfrida Rathbone (disabilities) 020 7424 1601; Camden Society (disabilities) 020 7485 8177; WRAP (mental health) 020 7281 8097.
• Make sure you answer all private number calls – it could be that job you applied for!

If you get a job interview, it is really important that you prepare!

• Telephone the employer to confirm you are attending and check if you need to bring anything – such as qualifications
• Research the employer – and make sure you demonstrate your knowledge in interview
• Plan your outfit and if you don’t have one, contact Dressed for Success 020 7288 1770 (ladies) or New Horizons 020 7388 5560 (gentlemen) or the Job Centre if you need smart clothes.
• Plan your journey with journey planner on and always allow time for getting lost, buses breaking down etc
• Practise answers to different standard interview questions such as Why do you want this job?  What qualities can you bring to our team?  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  Tell me about something you are proud of?  Give me an example of team work? Give me an example of good customer service?  What do you understand by equal opportunities?
• Prepare some questions that you can ask the employer – What is a typical day like?  What are the opportunities for training? Is there any scope for promotion within the company?
• Be clear what the job involves and give examples of transferable skills and things you have done in other jobs/work placements that show you have some knowledge or experience of these tasks
• Always go to bed early so you feel refreshed

Once at the interview, you should:

• Turn off your phone when you arrive!
• Remember to behave appropriately before you go into the interview and after
• Shake hands with everyone and greet them
• Keep eye contact, smile and be positive
• Sit with your hands in your lap and try to relax!
• Think before you answer the question, speak slowly and make several points per answer
• Remember you can ask them to repeat the question or rephrase it if you don’t understand
• Thank the interviewers by name at the end and shake their hands.

Karin Lock
Connexions Worker

Telephone: 020 7974 3173

Created by: Karin Lock