So you have found that dream job you have been looking for. You have painstakingly completed your application form, delivered a well prepared interview and now you are waiting for that “your hired” phone call! But while you sit patiently waiting for your phone to ring, what are your prospective employers doing? What did they do to get to this stage? Most important of all, can this knowledge give you the edge on your competitors?The advert:Most vacant jobs will be found via an advert. The choice of publications for an employer is continually growing, with preferred media including, newspapers, magazines, specialist publications, and of course the internet. Whatever the media, the principle is the same. An advert will be designed to get the attention of the employer’s ideal candidate. The advert will be basic while containing all of the information essential to the ‘would be’applicant. Details may include the closing date, salary, basic duties and requirements of the post and possibly some background information on the company offering employment.It is worth remembering that there will be information in the advert which should aid the completion of an application form. Employers will be detailing what they are looking for and the activities that the job will fill. It will be worth baring this in mind while applying for the role. Be warned however, although most jobs accept application forms up until a closing date, some employers reserve the right to close a job early on receipt of sufficient application forms.The shortlisting:Once the closing date has passed or sufficient application forms have been received, the shortlisting process begins. Some application process will be completed through specialist websites (such as NHS jobs). In these cases it is possible for application forms to not even reach the employer if the applicant does not meet the minimum requirements of the post. For those application forms that do get through, the employer will assess each application against the essential criteria of the person specification. The employer will often go straight to the personal statement/or supporting information sections, as it is here that the employer will be expecting to see how you have demonstrated that you are right for the job (assessed against the person specification). Employers will often have in mind the number of people they would like to interview. In this case applicants may also be assessed against desirable criteria. If you are unsuccessful in being selecting for interview, most employers will not inform you and if you have heard nothing after a month, it’s fair to assume you have not been selected. Many employers will prefer to communicate by email.The interview:In being selected for interview, you may be given anything in terms of notice. How much notice you are given will vary greatly but usual practice will be anything from 2 weeks to 2 days, so it’s important that the necessary arrangements are in place with your current employer just incase you are successful. In preparing for interview it is important to assess yourself against the person specification of the job. Try to think of how you can fulfil each requirement and be prepared to give practical examples of each. These examples to not have to come from your current employment, they are just as valid if they come from your personal life too. If you do not fulfil a certain aspect, it is important to be prepared to state how you can fulfil the post regardless, and even better if you can show how your are taking active steps to correct or improve any weak areas.Employers will often ask about you in general and will always ask if you have any questions for them. Try to think of these in advance as employers will appreciate the proactive person who has taken the time to think about this. Remember all questions will relate to the job in some way, even if it is not obvious! Finally it is always recommended to be punctual, polite and attend any job interview with a smart appearance. Once the interview is over, employers may take anything up to a week to make their decision on who to employ. All candidates will be telephoned with a decision either way, with the successful candidate usually being the last contacted.