How to prepare for an Interview

Preparation is crucial in conducting a successful interview. Your Consultant will be happy to provide information to assist you. Ensure you have covered the following points beforehand:

• Ensure that you know the exact time and location of your interview, the employer’s full name, pronunciation and full job title. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early and if possible do a trial run to the company. Do you need parking money? Is parking available close to the office? Is there a security system to navigate through?

• Make sure you have the telephone number of your Consultant 01457 861511 – let them know if you are going to be late.

• Research the company website and Linkedin profile of your interviewer. Pick out a small number of facts about the company that you find interesting and can memorise.

Prepare questions to be asked at the interview. Remember, it is not an interrogation and should be a dialogue between both parties. The employer will be asking questions to determine whether you have the qualifications, experience and personality necessary to do the job. You must also ask questions to determine whether the company will give you the opportunity you are looking for and to establish the potential for growth and development. See our blog for a selection of questions that you can prepare for.

Rehearse some interview questions if you can. Basic questions may include “why do you want to work here?” or “tell me about yourself”. It’s worth rehearsing 3 relevant points to each of these so your response comes naturally.

• First impressions are very important. Business dress is preferred unless otherwise specified (suit, plain shirt, conservative tie for men and tailored suit or similar for ladies). Wear clean and polished shoes, have neat hair and do not over power with perfume/aftershave. Some interviews are deemed as less formal depending on the job role, but minimum nice trousers and shirt please. Studies show that interviewers make critical decisions within the first 5 minutes of meeting a candidate. Let’s make this interview about you, your skills and not the fact that you aren’t dressed appropriately.

SUGGESTED QUESTIONS THAT YOU COULD ASK:

• Why has the position become available?

• What does the position involve exactly? (Job specification supplied but clarify face to face)

• Who else will I be working alongside?

• How big is the team?

• What plans for growth does the company have?

• What induction and training programmes are in place?

• What is the next stage in the recruitment process?

AT THE INTERVIEW:

Remember that you are being interviewed because the employer is interested in your CV and wants to recruit someone for the job. It is not a test to try and catch you out or embarrass you. They will be looking to identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as to assess your qualifications, skills, intellectual ability, attitude, aptitudes and maturity. Relax, be yourself and let your personality shine through. Make sure you know your CV inside out – this will be used as the basis of the interview.

• Take a copy of your CV.

• Be professional with all people that you meet. The Receptionist may be asked for an opinion.

• Create a positive first impression – smile and give a firm handshake.

• Take a few deep breaths before you enter the room.

• Wait until offered a chair, keep good posture and be interested i.e. demonstrate relaxed body language, do not fidget and demonstrate active listening by occasional nods of your head, smiles etc.

• Remember to listen to the questions (remember the golden rule: 2 ears:1 mouth ratio).

• Take a moment before you give an answer – a considered response is better than a rushed splutter.

• Do not just give “yes” or “no” answers – expand and explain where appropriate.

Stress your achievements – costs savings, process changes that are relevant to the company etc.

Never make derogatory remarks about past or present employers or colleagues.

Do not enquire about salary, or benefits package at initial interview.

• If you are asked about your salary, indicate your salary expectation as discussed with your consultant and then ask what they think this role is worth.