Keep these short and pertinent to the job you are applying for (one page is good).
Do not give details of schools or school education other than perhaps e.g. "9 GSCEs (incl. Mathematics, English), 4 A-levels".
Do not give module titles of any of your university courses. They are meaningless to outsiders. Instead give the formal title of your degree only. If you are doing an MMath(Eur) degree then indicate where your year abroad is (e.g. "includes one year at the University of Versailles")
Only give details of previous temporary jobs if they indicate exceptional skills and knowledge relevant to the job you are applying for. Otherwise just refer to all jobs such as bar work, clerical assistant, holiday camp helper etc as "various temporary vacation jobs". Remember that your key qualification is a degree from Sheffield in Statistics (or Mathematics & Statistics). This is what will get you the job, not responsibility for cashing up at the supermarket two years ago.
Do not include long (or any?) 'personal statements' outlining your opinions of life and everything.
Do not include details of music exams, woodcraft skills etc taken in your early years (instead list music as one of your 'other interests').
Do include all foreign language skills indicating level (e.g. get by /reading /speaking / fluent / bilingual / mother tongue).
Ensure layout is clear, well-formatted, not cluttered with fancy fonts. A CV should take no more than thirty seconds to read (it will be).
In future years keep your CV up to date. Give dates of employment etc to the month and year. Never leave [any] gaps in dates (inference is then that you have been 'out of circulation').
Find out as much as you can about the company/organisation you are going to. Look at their web site (use Google search) and ensure that you are confident that you know details such as mission statement, overall size, structure, leading products, sites, ... . Do not flaunt this knowledge, all other serious candidates will have done similar,
just avoid revealing ignorance about such basic details.
Dress code: smart/formal.
Anticipate that you will have to give a presentation.
It is unusual not to be asked. You may be warned only ~two days in advance to prepare such. They may say what facilities are available (e.g. OHP or PowerPoint, some companies insist on use of PowerPoint). If they do not say what facilities then assume PowerPoint (and take a disk or CD) but have slides in reserve (printed from the file). They may leave the topic open to you or give you one. If you choose one yourself then avoid flippant topics such as skills in martial arts or shopping in downtown Manhattan. Better is something that is a little technical but within your knowledge, preferably based on a presentation you have given during your courses (probably shortened considerably). You may be asked at very short notice to give a presentation so have a few things in mind in advance covering technical, general, current issues (especially if a current issue has a statistical flavour, e.g. a recent report in the press that men who don't shave regularly are more at risk of heart disease). You may have to write OHP slides 'on the day' so worthwhile having a couple of pens of other colours ('permanent' are best, keeps your fingers clean, take spare transparencies not non-permanent pens). If using PowerPoint you should estimate 1.5 slides per minute plus 3 for title, contents and conclusions. If using only OHPs then 1 per minute plus 3 for title, contents and conclusions. Ensure your slides are not too fancy - avoid textured or coloured backgrounds, do not use any animations (i.e. let complete slide appear at once), use black-on-white or white-on-blue using Arial or Times New Roman fonts of at least 18pt minimum. Concentrate on content not clever presentation.
Do not try to bluff in the interview.
There will be professional interviewers as well as
technical statisticians on the panel.
Do not make excuses, be honest.
Give straightforward full answers to questions
(avoid simple yes/no). Remember they want to let you talk to be
able to judge what your qualities are, yes/no answers will appear
evasive. Good interviewers will ask general questions initially
(how did you travel here? / is accommodation all right? / cold
for the time of year /...) designed to make you feel at ease.
Then they will gently lead you into more substantive areas
and technical questions.
If you are being interviewed for a job as a medical statistician
then you should expect to be asked
technical questions on
They will not try to trap you - it is not in their interests
(they want to appoint the best person to the job and so they want
to find out about you). Remember that most panels in major
companies or the Government Statistical
Service (GSS) will have at least one person who knows the Department of Statistics in Sheffield well, either from education experience or by personal contact.
The GSS interviews
are extended events of a day and half with a variety of sessions
of different types.
If they provide accommodation in a hotel then on no account should you even open the minibar or use the outside telephone or access the premium rate TV channels. These are all hot wired instantaneously to the reception desk.
The RSS Careers page has many links to a variety of pages giving more detailed advice on preparation of CVs and Interviews. For more detailed advice on "DOs and DON'Ts" at interviews click here for careermanagement.co.uk's advice on interviews, reproduced on monster.co.uk's pages.