The Career Improvement Club

CV Templates, Resume Templates, CV Designs, Creative Job Applications, Job Search Planners, Professional Word Docs & More...

Interview Preparation

How to Get a Job Interview

Job Search Advice, Interview PreparationSuzie Finch
How to get a job interview.jpg

So, you've created your CV, updated your LinkedIn, sent your CV off to a bunch of recruiters and applied to some amazing dream jobs but you just don't seem to be getting any interviews, your inbox is empty and your phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook - what do you do next?

Well, searching for jobs is competitive, recruiters often receive hundreds of CVs when advertising vacancies so it's not uncommon for jobseekers to feel left in limbo, unknowing whether their application is being considered or has been just outright rejected.

It is easy to blame employers or recruiters for not reaching out with feedback, however many just do not have the time or the processes in place to deal with large volumes of enquiries, there could have been a number of reasons why you didn't get that job interview, but there is a fix to get more, you need to take the initiate, be the one in control and engage with employers.

Follow these how to get a job interview tips and you'll be surprised at the success you get...

// Set up Job Search Alerts

Jobseeking is a race, employers are looking to fill jobs as soon as possible, therefore if you are one of the first to apply for new jobs then you'll hugely increase your chances of an interview.

When registering with online job boards, you can configure email alerts that notify you when new positions are advertised, when this happens jump on them immediately. Set these alerts up across multiple job boards and google alerts and let technology do the job searching for you.

// Make sure your CV is Relevant

Do you have the skills and experience necessary to do the jobs you are applying for? If your CV doesn't demonstrate to an employer that "I can do your job" within the first 6 seconds then you'll find yourself on the reject pile.

Personalise and tweak your job application for each job you apply for. We've talked about CV Mirroring before, but it's super important to demonstrate relevancy in your job application whilst keeping your CV concise, succinct and to the point.

// Make sure your CV Stands-out

Employers can receive hundreds of applications from prospective candidates, therefore your CV / Resume (and Cover Letter) needs to make a statement and catch the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter.

Resume templates come in a variety of different designs, colours, layouts and styles therefore choosing the one that best suits your career history and personality can be a challenging task. In 9 Resumes that will take your career to the next level we’ve put together a collection of our favourite resume designs and highlighted which professions they are best suited for. For further inspiration check out our printable and downloadable Professional CV Templates and Creative CV Templates.

// Engage with Employers - via the Phone

Recruitment is a people business, therefore reach out to employers and make a personal introduction over the phone. It gives you the chance to confirm that your application has been received and get to grips with their recruitment process.

Once connected ask if they can run through your CV now or forward schedule a follow up call once they've completed their review process. If you make a strong first impression an employer/recruiter will look at your CV in a more positive light and will be much more likely to take the positives rather than any negatives.

Aim to make your first call a few hours after you have applied.

// Engage with Employers - Via LinkedIn

Follow up any initial correspondance with a LinkedIn Connection request. Ensure your LinkedIn Profile is professional, includes references and is fully up to date (it should mirror your CV).

Recruiters will typically spend large chunks of time on LinkedIn, so you want to leverage this platform to leave positive comments and share relevant content that will support your application. You want to make yourself accessible and as easy to contact as possible.

The aim is to immerse yourself with relevant contacts within your industry and make yourself noticeable. Many employers are open to speculative applications, so don't be afraid to reach out and ask if your CV could be of interest.

// Organise your job search

Track your job applications to understand your job search activity and what is working for you. Job Search Organisers will help you keep an organised log of what positions you've applied for, where you found them, the location, salary and other key details. You should also make a note of when you last spoke to them, when a decision is due and when a follow up call needs to be made.

Make these documents easily accessible so you can refer back to it quickly when an employer shows interest. Being prepared could just give you the edge!

In Summary...

  1. Set up alerts that notify you of new positions immediately;

  2. Make sure your CV is relevant and stands-out;

  3. Call employers / recruiters to introduce yourself and build rapport;

  4. Connect with the right people on LinkedIn;

  5. Schedule follow up calls and stay organised.

Good luck!

Interview Preparation - 3 Top Tips To Overcome The Jitters

Interview PreparationSuzie Finch
Interview Preparation

Let's face it, job interviews can be pretty scary things.  The thought of being judged by a complete stranger is a daunting feeling for anyone.

I've seen brilliant candidates stumble at an interview stage based purely on nerves, which is a preventable and totally unnecessary problem (the view from the employer's side of the desk is - we just want candidates to do well and be themselves).

To help your interview preparation we've put together a few useful pointers to keep those interview nerves in check...

1. Interview Prep is King...

Research shows that you should spend roughly twice the amount of time researching your interview than actually attending it (that's about 2-3 hours). One of the big reasons you're nervous before an interview is the fear of stepping into the unknown, in-depth interview preparation is a great way to build confidence and gain insight.

  • Ask for a job specification (this is different from a job advert), it will give you better insight into the role, and what skills are required. Read it over and over;

  • Become a digital stalker… visit company websites as well as social media profiles. Instagram and Facebook are good for understanding company culture, Twitter for general news and chat and LinkedIn for corporate structure and team bios.

  • Don’t overlook the basics, get to the interview with plenty of time, check for travel disruptions, print out a high quality copy of your CV and prepare your outfit in advance (in case dry cleaning needed).

2. Slow Down, Listen and be in Control…

The start of an interview is when nerves tend to hit their peak. Be sure to take breaths, remain calm and consider each question carefully before answering. The early questioning stage of an interview is generally the hardest and most stressful, but relax, as things go on you should start to get into the swing of things and even start to enjoy it.  

The key is to remain calm, take a few seconds to contemplate each question before answering (don’t spurt out answers!), and don’t be afraid to ask interviewers to repeat questions or clarify what they mean.

If you are the fidgety type, then a useful way to stem that nervous energy is to hold a pen and jot down notes.  Not only will this make you look professional, but it will act as a distraction from the interview and give you time to collect your thoughts.

3. Silence That Little Voice in your Head…

Before your interview you need to channel positive energy, don’t worry, I’m not going to start quoting “Mr Motivator” but it’s the small things can make a real difference.  Ensure your music playlist is up-beat and positive. Give yourself a pep talk to silence any negative “I’m not good enough” thoughts and smile – you’ve got an interview at (we assume) a top employer you want to work at.

Once you overcome your nerves, you’ll realise that job interviews aren’t that scary, it’s just two groups of people chatting about stuff they should know about. So relax, don’t worry (as the worst outcome is not getting a job you don’t have in the first place) and nail it with confidence and a smile.  Good luck!