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How to prepare to make the best impression at an interview

Preparing for an interview is as important as any other stage of the process. The good news is that if you have been invited for an interview, the employer has already decided you are potential match for their vacancy. The interview itself will be used by both parties to determine if you fit into the company and team culture.

From the employers’ perspective, your CV will have demonstrated that you have the level of experience and technical expertise they are seeking, and you should be prepared to expand on anything you have detailed on your CV. Make sure you know your own CV inside out and also be prepared to outline how you would fit into the role you are interviewing for.

An interview is as much about compatibility as competence. You need to make full use of the interview to determine whether the company is able to offer you the professional growth and career development you seek. To do this you should consider some questions you can ask.

Your success can be enhanced or hindered by the quality of your preparation. Before you attend the interview you should research as much background information as you can about the company, the market and its competition.

Many companies proudly list their achievements and more general information on their corporate website, so this is a good starting point. You could also contact the marketing department for a brochure. If you are being put forward via an Agency, ask them for information on both the company and the Interviewer.

In terms of getting to the interview, you should plan where the interview is taking place, plan your route and allow plenty of time to reach the destination. You should also enquire about parking arrangements at the interview venue and make sure you are presented appropriately.

Arrive 15 minutes early and make sure you know the name and title of your interviewer. Take a couple of extra copies of your CV.

Being prepared for your interview will make you more confident and, as a result, you will leave a better impression on your potential employer. And in today's jobs market, that might just give you the edge over the competition.

About the Author: Neil Wilkie is the Group Marketing and Communications Manager for the Fusion People group of companies. You can find out more on Neil's Linkedin or Google+ profile.

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