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IMPORTANT -
Job seekers should read this before embarking on an interview:

10 points for a safe interview.

1) Research the company with whom you are applying for a job especially the person the interview is with. Try and make sure the company is trading and a going concern. Do some Google searches on the company and employees to see if there are any stories about them and if anyone else has had a bad experience. You may find that the company has a poor reputation and that there have been a lot of complaints about the way they operate.

2) Avoid ringing a premium rate number (prefixed 070 or 090) for more information or to apply for an advertised vacancy. Be wary about sending texts or giving out your number or paying to find out more information. All these are usually a con.

3) Never provide an employer with your personal bank or financial details until you actually have started the job. A good employer will probably never ask for such information in advance, so be wary if they do! Have a job offer in writing and confirmation that the vacancy is yours before giving out any personal info.

4) Do not provide a potential employer with other personal details, such as your National Insurance number. Restricting this type of information also applies to recruitment agencies, unless you are confident in their honesty, but even then you should try and avoid giving out any information unless it is absolutely necessary for the application. When you have a legitimate job offer, give personal information directly to your future employer and not the agency.

5) Do not pay any application fees or provide money up front for help with job hunting or job training. Again, the web is a good place to research companies and often scams are well reported within forums. A few minutes searching can reveal much and save you both time and money.

6) Make sure you have firm and reliable arrangements as to how you will get to the job interview and be able to return, especially if the interview is outside of a busy town. You may want to leave the interview quickly, especially if you are feeling uncomfortable. Tell a reliable friend or relative where you will be, including the job interview address and what time you expect to return to work or home. Make sure you agree to call them after the interview and confirm your safe return. For vacancies that offer accommodation, make sure you see the rooms and if possible don't go alone.

7) If the job interview takes place outside working hours, arrange for someone to collect you or wait outside, especially if its a remote location.

8) Confirm that the interview is at the company's place of work or offices or in a suitable public place. In other words, make sure there are people around that you could call upon to help you in an emergency. Avoid having the interview in your own home. In fact, if a future employer suggests this, be very wary.

9) Do not discuss personal and private matters or let any conversation stray from topics relevant to the job interview.

10) Do not accept a lift home from the person who interviewed you.

The Interview

Interview experiences will vary depending on the character, style and age of the interviewer. An older and more experienced interviewer will probably be more friendly. Be prepared to make the interview relaxed if you feel this will be appropriate, but don't assume anything! When you enter the room, be formal and polite whilst reading the situation. If the interviewer is giving off relaxed and informal vibes, then echo these and follow his or her lead. Remember, the interviewer may be nervous as well, so try and make him/her feel comfortable in your presence. Having said that, err on the formal side and don't be presumptuous.

The less nervous you are, the more information you will volunteer. The job interviewer knows what he wants to find out from you, and will angle his questions towards this. The best policy is to be as honest as possible, which will mean you won't trip over at a later date any 'exaggerations' you may have said. The interviewer may become your work colleague and you don't want him to find out later that in fact you deceived him. You will feel more comfortable if you stick to the truth and your body language will reflect this. The overall impression will be that you are confident and relaxed plus a nice person to be with, rather than a fidgety, nervous and 'something not quite right' sort of person. Many employers would rather hear someone say that they don'y know or understand something, then have someone pretend they do. Honesty is a big winner in a job interview, plus in finding the right career for yourself. What's the point of bluffing your way into a job that is not right for you in the longterm?

Let the employer know that you are interested and enthusiastic about the ew position. Here are some questions that you could ask the interviewer:
1) Who are the companies customers?
2) Will I be required to travel abroad or around the UK?
3) What will my job responsibilities be?
4) Will training be provided?
5)Details about Salary and any bonuses plus holiday entitlement.

Make sure you understand all the details of the holidays and any overtime.

Here are some obvious but crucial rules for the interviewee:
Confirm interview date, time and the contact name of the interviewer.
1) Arrive early.
2) Be well presented. You may get or lose the job in the first few seconds!
3) Maintain eye contact throughout. This may not come naturally so practice on friends.
4) Be truthful which will make you come across as decent and reliable.
5) Research the company on the web

Don't......
1) Lie.
2) Fidget and look shabby.
3) Overstate salary expectations. Be realistic, a small firm may not afford big salaries but location and friendliness may be worth taking a little less salary for.
4) Bad-mouth present or past employers.

Further reading: How to write a CV


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