Recently I delivered a CV Workshop for Jobwise, a fabulous recruitment agency based in the North West of England.

The following video gives some key tips on how to maximise your chances of winning the job you are interviewing for.

1. Get to know the business

Employers respond well to enthusiasm and what better way to get this across than showing that you really understand their business? Find out what products and services they provide? how have they grown or changed in recent years?  How many staff do they have? What is their turnover? What regions do they operate in? Who are their competitors? Who owns the business?

You can usually find out this by looking at their website and any social media platforms they use and reading any press articles that an online search throws up in the process.

Doing this will help you think of killer questions to ask them:

2. Prepare at least 6 questions

6 is a good number, because most candidates only think of a couple and the interviewer is likely to answer these in their welcoming information which leaves you with zero questions.  Write them down then you don’t have to worry about remembering your questions – doing this makes you look ultra organised and enthusiastic.

3. Invest in yourself

You need to nail down before the interview: Who you are, what you are offering and why you want this job.  Winging this on the day will sell you short – especially if their first questions is: ‘So tell me about yourself’.

4. Identify what the employer is looking for

Read the job description (and person specification if you have one) and use this to accurately work out what the employer is looking for.

5. Prepare ‘Stories’ to tell the employer

Not bedtime stories silly – but stories about situations where you have demonstrated that you have what they are looking for.  For example – if you know they are looking for someone who is organised then think of your best example that you can tell them when you were organised. Make sure you include: What the situation was, what you did and the outcome.

If you can think of over 8 stories and practice talking about them aloud then this will enable you to easily draw upon them in the interview as needed.

In a job interview you should expect the employer to ask you questions that lead into your stories eg: ‘Can you describe a time when you have demonstrated excellent customer service?’ ‘Can you tell us about when you had a problem to solve at work?’ and so on.  Preparing stories steers you away from learning answers to specific questions which can sound too rehearsed and make you feel over stressed in an interview.  In case you were wondering it is OK to take some notes in with you to interview – just like you would if you were attending a meeting.

If you follow these 5 tips, you will really increase your chances of being selected after interview – good luck!