Tips for landing a London Job
London is one of the best cities in the world. It’s wonderful yet terrifying, is full of people and is always busy. London is an amazing place to develop your career and find exciting employment. Although it is worth remembering that London is the world’s third most expensive city to live in and competition for work has grown a lot within many industries. So if you are searching for a London job you need to have your interview skills polished to perfection.
Below are a few of my top tips to help you bag the perfect London job
- Be Prepared
Getting ready for an interview does not just mean having a shower, getting dressed and arriving at the place on time, show that you really want this position by researching everything that you can get your hands on about the company. Research their history, goals aims and objectives; mention their competitors, their annual performance and anything you have read about them in the press. Most companies now have plenty of material that you can research online.
2. Make sure you present yourself well
Remember that first impressions are one of the most important elements within an interview. You need to look professional, clean and smart. Just think about it, would you want to work with someone who is untidy and unhygienic. On the other hand you don’t want to go too over the top. Don’t go in looking like you suffer from the worst case of OCD. Don’t overdo the aftershave or perfume. Just as long as you have a good standard of cleanliness, clean clothes, look comfortable and remain professional then you’ll be fine.
3. The Importance of the hand shake
On first introduction and throughout the interview remember that eye contact is important. The handshake is also an extremely important element. Handshakes should be confident, firm and complete with good eye contact. A weak pathetic hand shake with no eye contact suggests lack of confidence and can present a feeling of distrust. So walk in be confident and show the interviewer that you believe in yourself.
4. Get straight to Business
Companies will usually interview a number of candidates for a particular role, so when you go in I suggest that you get straight down to business. The interviewer will normally stick to an agenda, firstly giving you some background information and then moving onto questions and discussing your experience. Stick to what is being asked of you and ask appropriate question about the position and the company. Leave pleasantries to after the interview unless you are asked. After all you are not there to waste anyone’s time.
5. Answering the dreaded question, ‘So why did you leave your last Job?’
Unless you have just come out of university, talking about why you have left or want to leave your current position can be a bit tricky, but you can count on them asking it so you better have prepared an answer for it. The best advice I can give is to be honest, but also keep it as brief as possible. Remember to remain positive, and mention things such as progression and career development. Never be negative about your last company or boss and remember at the end of the day you will most probably need a reference off them. And remember don’t mention if your got fired from your last position. That will very rarely go down well.
6. Everyone has a weakness so reveal yours
One thing that I believe impresses an interviewer is to reveal a weakness before they ask for one. This shows that the candidate knows what they are talking about and is already thinking of ways that they can self improve. By letting the interviewer know that you feel you would like to improve your technical skills, learn a computerised system or work on your leadership skills shows that you are a little more professional and don’t sit back waiting for the generic interview format.
7. Ask the Questions
Make sure you do your research on the position and company. If there is something you don’t understand ask. There is nothing that an interviewer will be impressed more by is when a candidate shows they are interested and ask plenty of questions. Ask about the company culture, their structure or what a working day consists of etc. This will make a good discussion which will normally make the interview flow better.
8. The next round
If you get invited back to the next round well done, but don’t assume that you’ve got it in the bag. The second round will probably be a little more intensive. The interviewer will want to see if you are right for the position and you may be set a task or asked to sit mini exams. Prepare carefully for this stage and ask as many questions as possible. Make sure you know exactly what is being asked of you and remain professional at all times.
9. Feedback Facts
After you’ve completed your interview and if you have been unsuccessful the best thing to do is to think upon that interview as a learning process. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer or the recruiter for feedback on how they thought you had performed in the interview process. You can take from the feedback what elements you are good at and what you can improve on. Stay positive, accept the feedback and just improve on your interview technique.
Darren McCloskey is a freelance writer living in London annd is currently working with the great people at Monster to Promote London Jobs.