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Pre-Interview Preparation

GEM has compiled this list of practical interview tips to help you prepare for your interview:

Find out as much information as possible about your prospective employer in advance.

Most companies now have websites which are packed with information. Familiarize yourself with mission statements, past performance and future goals. Be aware that if your prospective employer does have a comprehensive website, you may seriously compromise your chances if it becomes apparent you have not taken time to research it.

If available, also access the press area of the website. This will give you articles from the media and insightful information about the company. It will also ensure you are aware of recent press releases involving the company.

If the company website does not have a press area, access information online through search engines such as Google or MSN. Alternatively, log on to media sites, such as The Financial Times website and run a search on the company.

GEM consultants are specialists in supporting candidates through the interview process and will happily provide supporting information and talk you through company expectations and interview style which will significantly boost your changes of making a good impression.

If there is no company website, it is still straightforward to research your employer.

All national newspapers and professional magazines have online sites with archive articles. You can also use web search engines just by entering the company name. Talk to anyone you know who has worked at the company in the past, friends and family often have insightful information.

Double check the date, time and location of the interview and be familiar with the name and title of the interviewer.

Take your interview confirmation letter with you.

Prepare your interview outfit in advance.

Ensure your appearance is both professional and comfortable. A suit is the usual suggested outfit, only default to casual clothing or work wear if you have secured confirmation in advance that it is expected.

Familiarize yourself with the journey to the location, to ensure you arrive in plenty of time.

If driving, do a 'dummy run'. Anticipate delays, especially on unknown routes. Contact your interviewer swiftly if you are unavoidably delayed on the day.

Do not arrive over-laden with belongings!

Take any requested certificates, references etc, a spare CV and a notepad and pen. A mobile phone is always useful, but ensure it is turned OFF before arriving at your destination.

Be punctual for your meeting, but it is inadvisable to arrive more than half an hour early.

Leave yourself enough time to use the restroom and freshen up if necessary.

Remember that you start making an impression on your prospective employer the moment you arrive.

Be courteous to the receptionist and any other staff you may meet prior to your interview. Their opinion of you is often sought and may even have some influence on the final selection.