Interview preparation


CV tips

Although it is not our preference to provide generic CV advice, we are happy to provide you with some tips and hints to help you when preparing. The reason we do not usually provide such advice is that every employer is looking for something different, and each person has different style preferences.

Your CV is a vital component of your job search, and should be treated as such. It is more often than not the first impression you provide to a potential employer or recruitment firm.

At Apple Personnel each of our Legal recruiters screen over 150 CV’s on average every week. The following tips should help to ensure your CV doesn’t go un-noticed and should be used as a general guide only.

Make an impression

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Preparing for interview

Before you begin...

The objective of your CV is to secure an interview and provide you with an opportunity to present yourself in person. Before you begin you need to have a clear idea of what you are aiming for. It may be a good idea to do a self-assessment on paper and outline your skills and abilities as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities. Make a few notes about your strengths and weaknesses, areas you have excelled in, your ideal work environment and your mid to long term professional goals.

This is also a good time to prepare an objective if you wish to include one in your CV. An objective should be a short paragraph telling potential employers the sort of role and opportunity you are seeking.

Be unique...

Every single CV is unique to the person writing it in terms of the content and layout, and ideally, every single CV you send should also be unique to each application you make. You should try to tailor your CV to the position that you are applying for by including the relevant skills and experience you have that are required for the desired role.

Be honest...

Never lie on your CV. If the lie works, and you are successful in gaining an interview, your lie is sure to be discovered during the selection process. You should never include anything in your CV that you cannot justify or comfortably explain.

Presentation…

Although it is obviously the content of your CV that will eventually gain you an interview, you should also take extreme care as to the presentation. You want it to be easy for the reader to follow and understand. The initial impact and visual appearance of your CV can make a big difference in how much time the reader will give to your CV.

Do's and Don'ts

DO shake hands firmly, always look the interviewer in the eye and greet the interviewer by his or her first name

DO be as charismatic as possible; it is very important that you demonstrate your interpersonal skills during the interview

DO be a good listener as well as a good talker and remember to smile

DON’T just answer questions; Respond to them. Be careful not to ‘over answer’ questions. Be as concise as possible and don’t keep talking if you can’t answer the question

DO pause a moment after the interviewer asks a question. When you are nervous, it is easy to jump in too early to answer a question. This is often perceived as not listening properly / thoroughly and not being considered enough in your response

DON’T enquire about salary, holidays, bonuses etc at the initial interview unless you are positive that the interviewer wants to hire you. You should, however, know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.