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The best interview tip you could have

By Sarah Owens on 25.03.14 in Your Job Search

Great news - you've been asked to interview for the job you really want.  How do you make sure that you present yourself in a way that's going to help you get it?  

We've talked before about the importance of preparation, really finding out all you can about the company, their clients if it's an agency, and understanding the job brief.   Any good interviewer will be looking to identify you have the skills they need, so a key part of your preparation should be around how you demonstrate that you do. 

I've talked in the past about the value of including examples and case studies in your CV to substantiate your skills.   And at the interview it's even more effective and fun to talk about a specific achievement that brings a particular skill or skills to life.   

So as you go through the job brief, make a mental note of the key skills that they're looking for and where there's a match.  Then have a think about a specific achievement that demonstrates that particular skill.  This might be a case study about a campaign or something as simple as how you've helped develop a member of your team.  Always aim to ensure some element of measurement.  That way you get some objectivity.  

So, for example, the brief might require strategic skills, so you've picked a case study where you added value through your ability to plan a campaign.   Think about how you'll talk this through in a structured, concise and relevant way - don't get drawn into too much detail - highlighting where your contribution made a difference and giving the results at the end: powerful, credible and interesting for the interviewer.    I'm also a big fan of a portfolio, so you might want to take the creative work along with you too.  Some interviewers will want to see it, others won't, so play it by ear. 

In other areas you might need to use less tangible examples to support your strengths in, say, motivating others.     Again it's about the same process in identifying an example, talking about how you approached the challenge, what you did and how and why it worked. 

This way you're totally prepared for the type of questions that a good interviewer should be asking in relation to the job brief.  You'll feel more confident as you can bring in your examples as and when you need them.  Instead of simply saying you can do something now you can prove it!