Interview Tips & Advice
Your CV has landed you an interview and now you must make the most of a meeting to land the role.
Long papers and even books have been written on the subject. Here you will find a few practical pointers to assist in getting interview-ready and how to best conduct yourself on the day.
Before the interview:
- Research the prospective employer: products / services they offer, number of employees, turnover - know all the basics. Even if you're not asked questions, this will give you a greater feeling of comfort and therefore confidence when going through the interview process.
- Re-read your CV: pay attention to previous roles and any weaknesses that may be picked up on. Before you walk through the door, this is the only information they have about you. Be absolutely clear on what you wrote on your CV, what you did and when. If you cannot explain every sentence on your CV, you run the risk of failing the interview.
- Rehearse: great for soothing pre-interview nerves and can help build communication skills. Ask yourself how you will explain why a project went well or conversely why it did not go well and be absolutely clear on what you learned from that experience.
- Pre-interview check: ensure you know the address and how to get there and the names and titles of the people you are meeting.
- Appearance: Think about the first impression you want to create. Be smart. Avoid distractions such as loud ties or heavy jewellery. We've more information on making the right first impression here.
During the interview:
- Ensure you have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
- Never be negative about a past or current employer.
- Don't interrupt anyone. Listen carefully to the question asked and answer the question. If you are not sure what the interviewer is asking, be sure to clarify the question before answering.
- Concise and pertinent answers are best - the interview can ask if they want more information. However, absolutely avoid monosyllabic 'yes' and 'no' answers. You are here to have a conversation: an exchange of information.
- Maintain good eye contact and smile when appropriate - you don't want to look mad!
- Prepare questions for when you are asked - for example about possible career prospects, what projects you could be on, challenges and ambitions of the company or department, training provided, make up of current team,
- Think before accepting a drink, you may find yourself uncomfortably balancing a hot tea on your lap. Remember why you're there.
- Always thank the interviewer for their time and - when appropriate - always enquire about the next stage in the process.
We will of course give you as much background information as we possibly can prior to the interview and will give you full feedback post interview. We are here to help throughout your job interview process with interview preparation and practice.
This is, increasingly, how interviews will take place, and there are some extra things you need to bear in mind.
If you want to take it a bit further, then check out our article on really standing out from the other candidates.
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