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When you are preparing for an interview try and think of any questions or areas that you may find uncomfortable talking about or you think the interviewer may not like the answers to. If there are any, you should concentrate on preparing answers or statements which turn them around from something negative to something positive.

Common areas of concern are:





The easiest way of turning a negative into a positive is to show the employer either what you have learned from the experience, in the case of a dismissal or convictions, or what you have to offer and transfer as an alternative to experience.

Lack of experience

Try to emphasise your enthusiasm for the job and any transferable skill you have that will appeal to the employer.

Dismissals or Convictions

We all make mistakes; the important thing is what we learn from these experiences. It is important that in answering any questions regarding either a dismissal or criminal conviction you try to show and explain what you have learned and how you have developed as a person since the event.

Length of time unemployed

Very often employers will over look periods of unemployment if you can show them you have remained active. Thinking about any Voluntary work, social and home life (i.e. raising a family) or other activities can help you to answer questions regarding unemployment. Always remember that the employer will be looking for skills and experience you have picked up by doing these activities which you could in-turn transfer to a role with their company. Talking about Placements and work experience you have participated in will enable you to show them you have remained active and continued to learn despite not being employed.


The key to any interview is preparation. This includes researching the company, its business and any key areas you can talk about, but it also includes preparing answers about yourself.

Identifying areas where you feel extra work is needed before an interview will allow you to construct strong answers to questions that otherwise may have been a problem

Remember: knowing your strengths is important but understanding and addressing your weaknesses is the only way to overcome difficult questions...

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