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Your CV is all about you, it is the hook that will get you through the door to meet your prospective employer so it needs to be professional, with no grammatical or spelling mistakes and be in an order that makes sense to the reader.

CV PRESENTATION is crucial as an average employer spends 2 minutes looking at a CV so it needs to look sharp, professional, consistent and be easy to read. Make sure all of your dates/headings are in order and double check spelling and grammar.

ACHIEVEMENT & SKILLS your skills, work experience and education need to be on your CV but it doesn’t hurt to put on some of your achievements. This gives a future employer more of an idea as to the sort of person you are and can give a sense of personality and cultural fit.

CV FORMAT your name, address and contact details should be at the top of the CV followed by a short profile of ‘who you are’. Work experience should come before qualifications unless you have been in the workplace for less than a year. Qualifications can also include any work related courses you may have taken. At the end of the CV list your general interests and hobbies.
BOXING CLEVER and tailor your CV!
Take time to change it so that it is relevant to the job that you are applying for.
Use the job advertisement and research the company so that you can make your experience a match.
If you are using bullet points the most relevant should be at the top even if it was only a small part of your role.
Use abbreviations
Put down reasons for leaving
Use an illegible font
Cover it in irrelevant pictures
Make liberal use of the colour code
Use an old email address that is unprofessional
Try not to make it too wordy or too long!
Be consistent with dates
Include links to your LinkedIn
If it is a marketing position direct your future employer to your portfolio
Ensure that the information most relevant to the role you are applying for is instantly easy to read
Your Cover Letter
Get it right and it can tempt a future employer to read your CV. Get it wrong and you are one step away from the delete key.
Your CV or application should have all the necessary info in it, so keep your cover letter brief and simply use it to justify your credibility and ability to do ‘THAT JOB’
Research the company website
Take on board the important parts of the advertised role and highlight your experience and personal qualities relevant to the job
Make it to the point, no one will read it if your cover letter ventures on to two pages
Get the address details right
Check your spelling and punctuation
Avoid highlighting age, religion, sexual/political affiliations
Follow the letter and CV/application with a call 3 days later, there may be a closing date but it is efficient to check that the cover letter and CV has reached its destination – and it could help you stand above the rest of the applicants
Interview Preparation
You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression - No matter how many interviews you’ve been through, they are nerve-racking and stressful experiences. The best way to reduce stress is preparation. The more prepared you are the less nervous you will be.
Before your interview make sure you know the following :
The exact time and location of your interview, transport options, parking and how long it will take to get there.
The interviewer’s correct title and pronunciation of his or her full name.
Company facts – including its history, financial position, mission, markets, competitors, latest news etc. The company’s website is often an excellent source for this information. If you know the name of your interview(s) it is well worth looking them up as well; it can only impress if you mention an article they have written or had written about them.
Facts and figures about your present or former employer. Refresh your memory – you will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked.
Review your CV and the job description :
Ensure you are equipped to answer questions on the details you have supplied.
Be ready to use pertinent examples from your career or personal competencies.
Also review the job description and core competencies of the role.
Examine your suitability and prepare specific examples before the interview.
Make a list of possible questions you might be asked and prepare your answers, e.g.
What goals do the company have ?
Where do they expect to be in five years time ?
How will this role develop ?
Who are the company's direct competitors ?
First impressions have a real bearing on an employer’s perceptions
Always dress like a professional, in a smart suit, with a clean, ironed shirt and tie (or blouse) and freshly polished dark shoes.
Do not wear casual clothes even if you know that it is company policy. Aim for a neutral rather than flamboyant look.
Hints and tips for a successful interview
Being late is inexcusable.
Plan your journey in advance and give yourself plenty of time to overcome the hazards of train delays and traffic jams. If you are delayed, telephone us at eyeRecruit with your estimated time of arrival.
Sit upright in your chair and look interested at all times.
Try to put on your best performance by demonstrating your interpersonal skills during the interview.
Be a good listener – actively listen to the question and answer it – as well as a good talker. Smile and maintain eye contact.
Marketing yourself
Try and be original - discuss points raised in their literature or in editorial you may have read in newspapers or in the trade press.
Describe your accomplishments and how you feel they could apply to the prospective role.
Don't waffle or avoid difficult questions.
When you are asked questions, remember that this is an opportunity to sell yourself. Try not to give yes or no replies. Know your CV - Dates etc..
Remember to ask the questions you prepared before the interview.
Avoid enquiring about salary, holidays and bonuses at the initial interview unless you are positive the interviewer wants to hire you. You should, however, know your market worth and be prepared to specify your required salary and salary range.
Closing the interview
If you are interested in the job, make sure you let the interviewer(s) know before you leave by stating why you like the role and thank the interviewer(s) for their time. If you feel confident then ask if the interviewer thinks you are capable of the role and if you will be considered for a second interview.
If the interviewer offers the position and you want it, accept it. If you wish some time to think over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. Set a definite date by which you can provide an answer, and then get back to them earlier.
Don’t be discouraged if no offer is made nor a specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to consult colleagues or interview other candidates before making a decision.
Thank the interviewer for their time.
After The Interview
Contact eyeRecruit immediately with your interview feedback. We cannot contact the client until we know your views.
Don't despair if you do not get the job. Treat every interview as experience. Remember that practice makes perfect.
Finally, if you are asked back for a 2nd interview, be prepared to answer further questions about yourself and your CV.
Top 23 Interview Questions
1. So, tell me a little about yourself.

I'd be very surprised if you haven't been asked this one at every interview. It's probably the most asked question because it sets the stage for the interview and it gets you talking. Be careful not to give the interviewer your life story here. You don't need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education, your career and your current life situation are fine.

2. Why are you looking (or why did you leave your last job) ?

This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It's not a good idea to mention money here, it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you'll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.

3. Tell me what you know about this company. Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it's being the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk, you should know about the company or business you're going to work for. Has this company been in the news lately ?

Who are the people in the company you should know about ? Do the background work, it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared, and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.

4. Why do you want to work at X Company ?

This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you've done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you'd want to work there. After all, you're at the interview, right ? Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview, mention your career goals and highlight forward thinking goals and career plans.

5. What relevant experience do you have ?

You have bags of related experience, and you should mention it all. But if you're switching careers or trying something a little different, your experience may initially not look like it's matching up. That's when you need a little honest creativity to match the experiences required with the ones you have. People skills are people skills after all, you just need to show how customer service skills can apply to internal management positions, and so on.

6. What makes you a good sales person ?

This is where you really need to show your sales skills…. Every salesperson can sell themselves! It's true! If they can sell themselves and have the confidence to do so, the interviewer will want them to sell more and more for the company… Good words to use are.. Passion, Positive, Overcoming objections, Dealing with negative fall backs, able to work well on the spot, experience, persuasion and persistence….

7. If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you ?

Ok, this is not the time for full disclosure. Stay positive, always, and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind. They'd say I was a hard worker or even better John Doe has always said I was the most reliable, creative problem-solver he'd ever met.

8. Have you done anything to further your experience ?

This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it's related, it's worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great, but maybe you're spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.

9. Where else have you applied ?

This is a good way to hint that you're in demand, without sounding like you're desperate. So, be honest and mention a few other companies but don't go into detail. The fact that you're seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.

10. How are you when you're working under pressure ?

Once again, there are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually PREFER working under pressure. If you say you crumble like aged blue cheese, this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

11. What motivates you to do a good job ?

The answer to this one if you are attending sales positions is money and success – you want to be successful. You should also be motivated by life's noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.

12. What's your greatest strength ?

This is your chance to shine. You're being asked to explain why you are a great employee, so don't hold back and stay positive. You could be someone who thrives under pressure, a great motivator, an amazing persuader or someone with extraordinary people and relationship skills. If your greatest strength, however, is to drink anyone under the table or get a top score on a video game, keep it to yourself. The interviewer is looking for work-related strengths.
13. What's your biggest weakness ?

If you're completely honest, you may be kicking yourself in the butt. This is a horrible question and one that politicians have become masters at answering. They say things like I'm perhaps too committed to my work and don't spend enough time with my family. Oh, there's a fireable offense. I've even heard I think I'm too good at my job, it can often make people jealous. Please, let's keep our feet on the ground. If you're asked this question, give a small, work-related flaw that you're working hard to improve. Example: I've been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture, so I've been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.

14. Let's talk about salary. What are you looking for ?

Run for cover ! This is one tricky game to play in an interview. Even if you know the salary range for the job, if you answer first you're already showing all your cards. You want as much as possible, the employer wants you for as little as you're willing to take. You may want to say, well, that's something I've thought long and hard about and I think someone with my experience should get between X & Y. Or, you could be sly and say, right now, I'm more interested in talking more about what the position can offer my career. That could at least buy you a little time to scope out the situation. But if you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident that you can get it, I'd say go for it. I have on many occasions, and every time I got very close to that figure both below and sometimes above).

15. Are you good at working in a team ?

You'll always answer YES to this one. It's the only answer. You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though; it's a great chance to explain that you're a natural leader.

16. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented.

It's important here to focus on the word implemented. There's nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad what's the point ? Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.

17. Has anything ever irritated you about people you've worked with ?

The best way to answer this one is to think for a while and then say something like I've always got on just fine with my co-workers actually.

18. Is there anyone you just could not work with ?

No. Well, unless you're talking about murderers, racists, rapists, thieves or other dodgy characters, you can work with anyone. Otherwise you could be flagged as someone who's picky and difficult if you say, I can't work with anyone who's a Liverpool fan. Sorry.

19. Tell me about any issues you've had with a previous boss.

The interviewer is testing you to see if you'll speak badly about your previous supervisor. Simply answer this question with extreme tact, diplomacy and if necessary, In short, you've never had any issues.

20. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction ?

It's not a very fair question is it ? We'd all love to get paid a huge salary doing a job we love but that's rare indeed. It's fine to say money is important, but remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise, you're just someone looking for a bigger salary.

21. Would you rather be liked or feared ?

I have been asked this a lot, in various incarnations. The first time I just drew a blank and said, I don't know. That went over badly, but it was right at the start of my career when I had little to no experience. Since then I've realised that my genuine answer is Neither, I'd rather be respected. You don't want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team.

22. So, explain why I should hire you.

As I'm sure you know, because I'm great or I really need a job are not good answers here. This is a time to give the employer a shopping list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It's also good to avoid taking random shots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents, not other people's flaws.

23. Finally, do you have any questions to ask me ?

I'll finish the way I started, with one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you've done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are. You'll probably want to ask about benefits if they haven't been covered already. A good generic one is how soon could I start, if I were offered the job of course. You may also ask what you'd be working on. Specifically, in the role you're applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready, greeting this one with a blank stare is a rotten way to finish your interview. Good luck !
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