Some people enjoy interviews and some dread the thought. Whether you
are experienced or not it is always important to ensure you are prepared
thoroughly and although this advice may seem like common sense it is
helpful to remind yourself of the basic pointers.
It is essential prepare yourself before the interview and by not doing this even
the most perfectly matched candidate can lose out on a job to someone who
was more prepared. It gives you more confidence and also shows the potential
employer you are interested in the opportunity.
Even if you do not have much information on the role, interviewers will expect
you to have a good grasp of what the company does, how big it is and who its
main competitors are. The internet provides the best tool to allow you to carry
out this research, spend some time looking at the company’s website and see if
there have been any articles published about them.
Ensure you have read the Job Description and understood the requirements so
you can think about your relevant experience. If you have any questions, raise
them with your consultant before the interview and prepare any questions you
may wish to raise at the interview
Find out the format of the interview, how many people you will meet and
whether you will expected to do any tests or presentations. Try and do some
research on who you are meeting and ensure you have prepared your travel
Try and assess your weaknesses and strengths in relation to the role before
hand. Make a list of selling points about yourself that you would like to come
across at the interview. With each question try and ensure you provide some of
Take care to dress appropriately and ensure you are smart. Make sure you
have your CV with you, reference details, research notes and address, map and
contact details for the interview. Allow sufficient time to get to the interview
and get there are around 15 minutes early. If you are running late, make sure
you call in advance to warn the interviewers.
The interview will generally be a set format and the interviewer will start by
telling you about the company and the job, then ask you questions to assess
your suitability, allow you to ask questions then tell you the next stage with an
idea of timescales.
Be positive! Do not complain about your previous employer or
colleagues and ensure you are diplomatic at all times. If there are areas
of the role you can not do, focus on the positives and talk about the
potential you do have to learn.
• Get the balance right! Do not answer questions with closed yes or no
answers, however it is also important to be concise and be careful not to
waffle or go off on a tangent.
• Sell yourself! The interview is the ideal opportunity for you to present
yourself as the ideal candidate for the role. Do not be afraid of ‘blowing
your own trumpet’ but ensure you can back statements up with solid
The interview is a two-way process and it is important to try and find out as
much as you can about the company and job to ensure it is right for you too. If
you get to the next stage you should make sure it is really something you are
interested in pursuing before getting an offer.
If they have not been covered already, feel free to ask questions regarding the
background of the role i.e. is this a newly created role or replacement? Is there
any promotion opportunities or training? What will be the next stage?