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Whether you’re unemployed or just looking for work better suited for you, searching for jobs is not a fun process.
You polish your CV to perfection and write endless cover letters explaining why you’re perfect for every position you come across. Some of them expect you fill out long application forms, most of which require you to copy out the CV you’ve spent so long constructing and some of which expect you to provide essay-style answers to questions that can require absurd levels of detail.
And it’s always the jobs that you really want that require the most effort. You have to be very lucky to get your dream job by handing over only a CV.
So when you do finally secure an interview for a job you really want, it’s important to make sure you’re ready to ace it.
You won’t get very far at all if you make a bad first impression. Make sure that you look smart, that you look like you fit into this particular group of people. Look like the kind of person they want to represent their company. Look like the kind of employee this organisation would be proud of.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
You will be asked why you are appropriate for the role. Prepare in advance what you’ll say when you get asked that question. Think about what you are good at, what skills and abilities you will bring, what benefit you will provide for the company. Know exactly why the skills you have will be useful to that employer. Be prepared to make a huge deal out of everything you can do well.
KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES
You will get asked what potential downsides you have, too. Be as honest as you can about this, but remember that you’re still trying to make yourself look good. If you are prepared to offer a full critique of yourself – without trying to pretend that you are perfect in every way – it shows that you respect your employer enough to be honest with them. You don’t have to twist your weakness into some kind of positive, just show that you understand it and are prepared to work despite it for this job.
RESEARCH YOUR EMPLOYER
Nothing convinces an employer more that you are enthusiastic about working with their organisation than you demonstrating that you have close knowledge of that company. Learn not just what they do, but why they do it, how they do it and, most importantly, what your role would be in those achieving those goals. Show them that you know, as specifically as possible, what they need from you. Show them that, on your first day of the job, you’ll know exactly what you have to do.