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How to Ace Your Job Interview

You've spent hours brushing up your CV, applied for your dream role and fantastic news – you've landed an interview! For many, this can be the most nerve-wracking part of the whole experience, but don't let the panic set in, now is your chance to impress your future employer and showcase the many skills you can bring to the role. Follow our five top tips below to get interview ready.

Do your research

It sounds simple but you'd be surprised at how many applicants turn up for a job interview without doing even the simplest internet search on the company. So, come prepared by brushing up your knowledge. And don't forget to check out their social media pages too where you will often find the more human side of the organisation. To really impress your interviewers, become an expert by reading up on the industry as a whole, including any recent news and issues that could be relevant to the organisation. Being able to demonstrate how the company sits within the bigger picture will definitely put you at a big advantage.

Make a good first impression

Research has suggested that the first five minutes of an interview is the most crucial time to impress potential employers. But what can you do to make yourself stand out?Eye contact and a confident introduction are obvious starting points. Some other ideas include starting on a positive, entering the room with energy and enthusiasm, thanking the panel or interviewer for taking the time to speak with you, or describing why you'd love to work for the company.

Sell yourself

It's something a lot of people struggle with; but selling yourself is a big part of the interview process. Try to come up with between three and five reasons why you're the best person for this role and have these cemented in your mind for the interview. If you're having trouble coming up with anything, ask family, friends or former colleagues for their opinion – they'll be able to give you an objective opinion on the positive attributes and strengths that you can bring to the role.

Once you have summarised your strengths, practise saying these out loud so that they trip off the tongue easily. Another tip is to imagine you're saying them about somebody else, as you might find it easier to praise somebody else's strong points above your own.

See yourself in the job

In all jobs, but especially within the SEND industry, it's important to think about different scenarios that could happen and how you would react to them. This is a common interview question. Try to think of real-life examples where you've handled similar situations and describe how you could apply this to that particular role, draw on your previous experience, be confident about how you managed the situation. Paint a picture for the interviewers so they can imagine themselves there with you, explain what happened, what was your input, what was the outcome and what you learnt. There's also an element of visualisation to this tip, seeing yourself doing the role will help with confidence and positive thinking when it comes to your interview.

Become the Questioner

We've all experienced that awkward silence at the end of an interview where they ask if you have any questions and your mind just goes blank. Pre-empt the situation and take control of it by preparing three or four questions about the job, the company and the industry. Try to avoid anything obviously salary related at this point and focus on something more positive like career-progression instead. Another great tip is to bring a notepad – not only will it give you somewhere to jot down your questions it will also make it look like you've come prepared.

So, there are our five top tips for acing your interview. Good luck and if you're still searching for your next role, remember to keep checking our jobs board for the latest SEND jobs.

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