Interview Support

So your CV is shining, your application has been progressed and you have an interview scheduled in the coming days… excellent news! Now is the time to stay calm, research and prepare for the next steps. Below are some useful hints and tips to support you through the next stage.

Know your CV

One of the most basic steps that is usually overlooked, is that your CV will likely be present at the interview and your interviewer will be asking you about your employment history. It is vital that you memorise your CV (or as much of it as you can), things like work history, the dates of employment and any figures or achievements you have quoted will no doubt be talking points for the interviewer. If you can confidently recite this information, it helps build confidence in you as a person.

Research the company

When interviewing usually one of the first questions asked is “What do you know about us?”. By having an answer to this question, you show that you are interested in the business and have taken the time to do some research. You can even open up the conversation by asking questions on some of the research you have done. Things to consider when researching a business could be:

  • Any news articles or blogs they have published recently (online or paper based)
  • Any awards or achievements they have been recognised for
  • How the business is performing in the market or against competitors
  • Any charity work they are involved in
  • Who the key managers are in the business
  • Any performance figures of the business
  • What products or services they offer

Dress for the occasion

There is no such thing as being overdressed for an interview (although we wouldn’t recommend wearing a tuxedo!) Dress smart, presentable and ensure you have good hygiene. Employers will expect that candidates come to them dressed smartly and if you are the only candidate in the mix wearing shorts and flip-flops, the chances are you won’t be successful!

Plan your route and be punctual

Be prepared well in advance, look at how you will get to the interview and what alternatives routes are available should you run into traffic. Some people like to have a practice run beforehand but if you can’t do this, take a look on Google maps to see what the best route is. By doing this you can arrive for your interview as planned, ideally 10-15 minutes early.

Prepare your answers

While we don’t have a crystal ball to consult before an interview, we can plan ahead and think about what questions are likely to be asked, aside from the basics. A good place to start is by reading the job description again and highlighting any key points that define the role and responsibilities. Think about your previous roles and what skills and experience you have that links into the requirements of your potential new role.

Try to prepare examples of specific situations you have dealt with before, what you did to tackle the problem or situation and the result of your actions, you can even add in what you would do differently next time showing that you learn from experiences and have the capacity to develop and grow.

Other questions could include:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What makes you different to the other applicants?
  • What interests you in this job?
  • Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Practice makes perfect!

Try to rehearse your answers out loud before the interview, this gives you the chance to practice the speed of delivery and will help you to give clear and concise responses in the interview. You may have been asked to prepare a presentation for the interview so, if this is the case, again you should take some time before the interview to learn the presentation and have a few rehearsals, preferably in-front of a friend, family-member or one of our friendly consultants! Ask for constructive feedback and change anything that doesn’t quite work or make clear sense.

Ask your own questions

Interviews are not a one-way conversation and by asking questions to the interviewer you show that you are engaged and interested in the role. It also gives you the opportunity to clear up any reservations you may have or just find out more information about the job that wasn’t in the description. Questions could include:

  • How do you feel my personality would fit into the team here?
  • Do you offer or support further training and development for staff?
  • Are there any other departments I would collaborate with regularly?
  • What are the key challenges of this role?

If you ask the right questions, you can use this opportunity to follow up with further details to support your application. For example, if one of the key challenges of the role is time management, you could explain how you have effectively planned your workload in a previously role and how that had a positive impact on the business or your role.

Final notes

Interviews shouldn’t be stressful, remember that the person sat across from you are the same as you and just doing their job. If you prepare well for your interview, nothing should come as surprise and you can show why you are the best person for the job!

  • Be clear, concise and detailed in your answers.
  • Remember that your body language says a lot about you, sit up straight, make eyecontact and try not to cross your arms. Be open and confident!
  • Don’t forget to sell yourself, this is your chance to shine and nobody else can do this for you.
  • Good manners cost nothing! But bad manners could cost you the job.
  • Be upbeat and authentic, try not to talk negatively about previously roles or employers.

And remember, if you need any further support before your interview, our consultants are always here to help. Just pop into our office or call us to discuss any improvements to your current technique.

Need some help?

Have you found the perfect job, but need some help with your CV or the other guidance? Why not take a look at the links below to see what useful hints, tips and guides we can offer to support your application.