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Advice on how to write a good CV template for the British job market

CV writing tips for the 40+
Advice on how to write a good CV for the British job market
How to prepare for the interview

How to prepare for the interview
Fantastic you have passed the paper sift and reached the Interview stage. There is still some work to do and certain rules to follow. Be prepared for what is to come. Your extra research and preparation will show out and may be the difference between getting the job or being an ‘also ran’.

When you receive the ‘invitation to interview’ letter confirm that you will attend. When you contact the company use this opportunity to ask what format the interview will take. Enquire if there will there be any tests. Make sure you take all the documents they may want to see with you like passports, national insurance card, driving licence, CV, references and qualification certificates.

CV writing skills for the over 40's. How to prepare for the interview

Use the Internet to research the company's background. Find out what they do and who their clients are, how it makes it’s money and how the organisation is structured. Look for them in the Companies House website. I once went for an IT job but failed on the interview stage when they started to ask me questions about football. I have no interest in football and was totally unprepared. I had failed to discover that one division of the company serviced the needs of premiership football teams.

Re-read the specification and job description in the advert. Look again at the information pack sent to you from the company. If you do not own a business suit go and buy one now. Always wear a suit with a tie. Women wear a smart work outfit. Even if the job does not require you to dress formally you still have to impress the interview panel. Smart business dress is the general rule.

There is no excuse to be late for an interview. Work out how to get to your interview before hand. Arrive about 15 minutes early so you are not flustered when the interviewer calls your name. Double-check the location of the interview. When you phone them ask about train stations, bus routes and if there is anywhere you can park your car. Ask if there is more than one entrance and which one to use. Consider doing a dry run to find out how long it takes to get there. When setting out from home take into consideration traffic conditions and any possible delays. It is much better to get their too early. You can always find a café and have a cup of coffee to calm your nerves.

A couple of days before the interview consider what question you could be asked. List them on a piece of paper and then write down your answer. I find this helps you focus on your response.

Possible interview question's
What are your career goals?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
What were you major achievements in your last job?
Why should we employ you?
What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
What are you weaknesses?
What kind of experience do you have for this job?
Why do you want to work for us?
Why did you leave your last job?
Tell me about yourself?
How long have you been looking for another position?
What interests you most about this job?
How would your peers, subordinates, last manager describe you?
How did you get along with your last manager?
What are your major strengths?
What do you know about this company?
Why do you think you are the best candidate?
What are your hobbies and interests?

Think about the qualities you want to try and highlight in an interview. You will be asked to provide evidence of that quality so choose wisely. You do not want to be in the situation where you get asked "Give me an example when you were honest" (this is silly. Gather and use evidence for competence based interview. You should have six evidence scenarios for each skill to talk about during the interview.

You must disclose any health issues to a future employer. Do this at the very end of the interview once they have heard your skills, qualities and strengths. If you mentioned them at the beginning of the interview it might get distracted or prejudice them against you. Sell yourself. Be truthful. Offering your personal opinion without being asked is frowned upon.

You are legally entitled for feed back after an interview only. The feed back you get may not be of the quality you want though. It may just be that your application was assessed and although of the required standard a stronger candidate was offered the position.

Take a deep breath before you go in to steady your nerves. Smile when you enter the room and make eye contact with the interviewers. Remember first appearances make a big impression. Try not to fidget. When asked a question take a moment to think about the answer. Employers do not mind a short silence. Do not waffle. Speak clearly. Do not swear or use jargon. Sell yourself. Prepare so you have lots of examples, to evidence any claims about your skills or qualities. Make sure you have prepared some questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview when they ask you if you have any questions. Before you leave thank the interviewer for their time.

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