Career tips and advice

The job market is very competitive and you must ensure that you do everything to make yourself the most suitable and desirable candidate. Always plan and prepare carefully for an interview; you only get one chance to make a first impression - make it count!

Read through the following list to ensure you are fully prepared. If you would like to arrange a mock interview we will be happy to organise it.

  1. Decide what to wear in advance

    Always ensure you are smartly dressed in a conservative colour and style (irrespective of what you perceive the dress code of the company to be). 

  2. Plan your route

    Ensure you have the company's full address and that you have your route planned. Allow plenty of time and aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

  3. Curriculum Vitae

    Have a clean copy of your CV with you - just in case! Your CV should list at least two referees with their addresses and contact numbers.

  4. Preparation

    Excel will provide you with as much information as possible, please ensure you read it thoroughly. The company will have a website, make sure you have a good look at this too. It is also a good idea to check out their competitors and gain some knowledge of the industry sector. Prepare a list of intelligent and relevant questions to ask during the interview, for example:

    • How long was the last person in the position?
    • How many people work for the organisation?
    • Are there any other branches or regional offices?
  5. During the Interview

    • Always switch off your mobile phone before arriving at the offices for your interview.
    • Offer a firm handshake and look your interviewer in the eye.
    • Do not talk over your interviewer.
    • Do not criticise previous employers.
    • Always take your time when answering questions.
    • Answer honestly and do not attempt to answer a question you don't fully understand.
    • Speak clearly and try not to ramble!
    • Be prepared to handle more difficult and unconventional questions: 
    • - If you were an animal in the jungle, what would you be?

      - What is the most daring decision you have made and why?

    • Have a list of questions ready to ask at the end of the interview and be prepared to answer commonly asked questions such as:
    • - How would you describe yourself?

      - What are your strengths/weaknesses?

      - Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years' time?

      - What important decision(s), good or bad, have you made in your career or personal life and what was/were the result(s)?

      - Why do you want this job?

  6. At the end of the Interview

    Thank the interviewer(s) for their time, offer a firm handshake and smile! Always call Excel and speak to your consultant after leaving an interview to give your feedback. This information is vital when the consultant calls the client to discuss the interview and an offer is to be made or a second interview requested.