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“How should I prepare for my interview?”
Research the company
There are different ways to research the company:
- The company website
- CQC reports
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram
- The job description
- Search engine results
What to research
- Company values: Does this match your values? Values are the beliefs that a business and its behaviours are based. We all have beliefs. For example, you may feel that providing the best quality care is important, and this may match the company values, too
- Company culture: Social media and the website will give you a good idea of the personality of the company
- The requirements of the job: The job description should tell you what the day to day role involves, what the company offers their staff, and what they require from you as a potential employee
Review your CV
Think about your qualifications, skills and experience for the role that you are applying for
Be prepared to answer any ‘red flags’ on your CV. Examples of this are:
- Short periods of time in a job
- Gaps in your employment history
- Moving from a senior role into a junior role
Top Tip: Bring copies of your CV to interview with you. This makes you look prepared and ready to talk about yourself to the interviewer.
Prepare for questions you may be asked in interview
“Tell me about yourself.”
This is your chance to tell the employer what you have been doing professionally and personally that make you a good fit for this job.
“What interests you about this role?”
The employer will be looking to make sure that you have researched the position you are applying for and have a good prior understanding.
“Why do you want to leave your current position?”
Focus on the positives. Even if you don’t like your current manager or someone you work with, talk about how you are looking for a change as you would like to progress your career or work in a different environment.
“Why do you feel that this organisation is a good fit for you?”
An employer will ask this question to find out if you have researched the company. This is where research is key.
“What motivates you at work?”
Everyone has different motivating factors; the employer asks this to see if you are self-aware and right for the role. Some people are money motivated, motivated by development and promotion, recognition.
“Can you tell me about a time when you have been challenged by a customer or service user? How did you deal with this situation?”
The employer wants to know that you can work well under pressure and remain calm and patient in a difficult situation.
“What would you do if you were concerned for a service user’s safety?”
Even if you haven’t yet worked in care an employer would like to know that you are able to use your initiative, would report any concerns to your line manager and be prepared to take this further if it wasn’t dealt with properly.
Prepare questions to ask at the interview
The questions you ask will depend on what is important to you. Here are some good questions you may choose to ask:
- What would a typical day look like for me if I were in this position?
- What training and development do you offer?
- What is the working environment like here?
- Where could I see myself in 5 years’ time with this company?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
If you find that you don’t have any questions, then let the employer know when they ask that they have already answered all your questions.
Think about how you present yourself
- First impressions are very important
- How you dress counts towards these first impressions
- It is important that your potential employer sees that you take pride in your appearance
- Wear blazers, trousers, skirts, shirts, smart casual dress, shoes, or smart boots
- Avoid wearing trainers, jeans, hoodies, or t-shirts
Top Tip: Prepare your outfit the night before so that you do not feel rushed in the morning.
Plan your travel
Whether you are driving, using public transport, walking or cycling, make sure you double check your journey.
- Google maps is great for checking the best route, at the time you need to arrive for your interview
- Make sure you give yourself enough time to get there early: Arriving late because of traffic or a cancelled bus will suggest you are unorganised
- Arrive around 15 minutes before your interview starts
Arriving at an interview
- An interview starts as soon as you enter the building. Engage with anyone who passes you in a friendly manner. This could be a resident, family member or a member or staff
- Ask for the ‘contact on arrival’ from your interview confirmation
- If you are waiting on arrival, avoid looking through your phone too much
- Expected to be greeted by the interviewer with a handshake and a smile. Come across as confident in this exchange
- Body language: remaining calm in your body language, with your arms uncrossed, hands on the table is a good manner. Hand gestures while speaking are fine, but try not to move too much
- Eye contact: Maintain eye contact. When under pressure it is easy for your eyes to wander up and around as you are thinking what to say. Keeping eye contact suggests you are confident in what you are saying
- Speaking clearly and concisely: If you prepare for your interview this will help with how you come across when speaking. Try not to ramble!
- At the end of the interview, ask when you can expect to hear back from the employer
- It can be beneficial to send a follow up email thanking them for interviewing you, particularly if you are very keen on this job
- If you do not hear back from them after 1 week, then call the employer to ask for feedback