We know how daunting interviews can be so we help you every step of the way. Once we get you to the interview stage, we will ensure that you are given full advice, guidance and support of how to best conduct yourself in order to maximise your chances of a job offer.
The interview is your chance to tell a prospective employer that you’re the right person for the job – our experience shows that good preparation will settle your nerves and give you a much greater chance of success.
Before your Interview the golden rule is to ‘prepare’
The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will represent yourself well in an interview with a prospective employer.
Think about some of the tasks that the employer is looking for and when you have done those tasks in your last job. Be prepared to give examples of duties you have undertaken that match their criteria or situations you have been in that may arise again in this role.
An interview is your opportunity to tell prospective employers why you are the best applicant for the job. However, it is important to remember that interviewers often make up their minds about people within minutes – so you should consider the following:
- First impressions
- Body language
- Looking prepared
Appearance and First Impressions
You may only have a couple of minutes to make a good first impression so try to get off to a good start. Like it or not, how you look will count for a lot, so give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
- Dress smartly and appropriately
- Don’t overdo the perfume or aftershave
- Do not drink alcohol or eat spicy food just before the interview
- If you are a smoker try not to smoke before your interview, if you do, have some mints handy
- Make sure your clothing is comfortable so as not to distract you during the interview
- Respond to offered handshakes confidently – avoid crushing the other person’s hand and seeming over eager
Common Interview Questions
There are only so many questions that an interviewer can ask and it is difficult to know exactly what will be asked during an interview. Whilst they will almost always ask you questions about you and your CV, here are some other questions that will aid you in preparing for your interview;
Remember, your answers are your opportunity to highlight your key skills and abilities. Deliver them clearly and confidently and in an enthusiastic fashion, avoiding unappealing ‘robotic’ answers – many interviewers will be wary of stock or obviously prepared responses, so they will often throw in unexpected or follow on questions, testing your ability to think on your feet.
- How much do you know about the job?
- What skills or experience do you have that make you right for the job?
- Who and what were you responsible for in your last job?
- What do you know about this company?
- What has been the biggest achievement in your career so far?
- What are your longer term ambitions?
- Why did you leave your last company?
- Could you tell me more about your hobbies and interests?
Take your time to answer questions without taking too long. If you are unsure about what is being asked, ask the interviewer for some clarification.
Never appear vindictive or bitter about a former employer when asked about them. Constructive criticism is considered appropriate, but try to be as positive as possible whilst being honest.
Don’t talk about salary or benefits unless you are asked.
At the end of the interview you will have the chance to ask questions. Make sure you have some questions to ask the interviewer as this is your opportunity to look keen and prepared and show that you have paid attention. For example, you could say that you were going to ask ‘when you were established’ but you answered that at the beginning of the interview.
Other possible questions you could ask:
- How many staff do you have?
- Who are you main clients?
- What is the working environment like?
- Can you describe a typical day?
- Who would I be reporting to and what are they like?
- What type of person do you feel would best fit into the existing team/role?
- What other departments do you have?
- What would I be doing in the first few weeks?
- What do you feel are the rewarding parts of the job?
- How could my role develop over time?
- What training would you provide?
- What skills are you specifically looking for?
- Is there anything else you would like to know about me?
If you are interested in the role, make sure your interviewer knows it! You may be jumping for joy on the inside but if it doesn’t show on the outside, how will they know you want the job?
Think of it this way, if it was your company and you had a choice of two candidates who both had the same background and skill set but one seemed more enthusiastic about the job than the other, which one would you offer the job to?
If you feel you have asked enough questions or all the questions you had prepared have already been answered, don’t be afraid to say that you think everything is covered.
Thank the interviewer for their time. Tell them that you are interested in the position and give them a couple of reasons as to why you would like it.
Let them know when you are free to start a new job and ask them how soon they will be able to let you know if you have been successful.
Shake their hand and remember to smile. If they offer you the chance to look round, make sure you take up the offer as this can give you an even better feel for the role and the company.
Thank the interviewer for their time and either let them know there and then that you appreciate the opportunity but the role isn’t for you or advise your consultant as soon as you leave the interview and they will inform the client on your behalf.
After the Interview
Once you get out of the interview, help yourself by calling your consultant straightaway and whilst the interview is still fresh in your mind.
Your consultant is an experienced recruiter and your immediate interview feedback is crucial in order for them to go back to the client, remind them of your suitability for the role and reaffirm them of your interest in their role.
It is our job to ensure that if you want the job, you’ve done your best to get it and so have we!
On the flip side of this, if you do decide the role isn’t for you and you didn’t feel it was pertinent to say so in interview, we will speak to the client on your behalf in a positive way to advise them as to why. We will also use this information to ensure the next role we look at for you, has those factors taken into account.
If you were unsuccessful, again we will speak to the client and try to clarify why so that we can use that information to ensure the next interview goes the right way.
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