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Does the early bird really catch the worm?

By Sam Gray

Prepping a candidate before a meeting with a client is one of the most important parts of a recruitment process and should not be overlooked. 

I can't tell you the amount of times I've been told by a candidate "I'm really busy so don't have time to prep with you - but don't worry, I've done lots of research." 

Research on a company's recent performance is all well and good, but without knowing what the hiring manager is really looking for - or what to expect from the interview - you are not fully prepared. Trust me.  

Don't get me wrong, you can't prepare for everything that may be thrown at you but getting some of the basics right is really important. 

Here's a few titbits for you:

1. Understanding what the interviewer is looking for.

2. Wearing the right attire (not every client wants you dressed to the nines but they also don't want to see any Take That vests).

3. Understanding the current market the client is working within and how they are performing. 

Finally, in my eyes and most importantly - DO NOT turn up ridiculously early for your interview.

As eager as you may be to show the hiring manager what you've got, your 'timely' arrival could be doing you more harm than good. 

For one, showing up early (30-40 minutes) is bound to throw the hiring manager off. 

Just think about the last time you threw a shindig at home and someone showed up over 30 minutes early - you had to stop what you were doing to greet them and spend the next half an hour feeling like you had to entertain them instead of setting the table and putting out drinks. 

So, do get to the location early - but maybe use it to take some time in the car to compose yourself, do some final prep, work out where to park and where reception is. Getting there a few minutes early is acceptable and shows you are keen but after all that hard work and preparation with your recruiter (which you should be doing) don't throw it away with a simple error of judgment on your arrival time.

The early bird doesn't always catch the worm! 

In a job interview, there are many factors that are out of a candidate’s control. From the surprise interview questions, the practical tasks that they may get given and meet and greet sessions with prospective colleagues, there are many unknowns that could throw a candidate off-guard.

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