Interviews can be daunting, but we believe preparation is the key. It's important to remember that they want you to be successful! They need a new employee and they hope you are the solution.
The advice below applies across all types of interviews, but we have written blog articles specifically about telephone, group, video and presentation style interviews.
Let's cover the basics:
- Make sure you know where you are going and leave plenty of time for travel.
- Know the name of the person you are meeting.
- Dress smart - if it's an office job suit and tie.
- Have the phone number of the company or your recruitment consultant saved in your phone in case of emergency. Turn it off before you go in, of course.
- Be polite to everyone you meet when you arrive at their office.
Now you have made it to the interview, we have some more detailed advice for how to make sure you land the job:
- First impressions count. Introduce yourself and make sure you thank them for the opportunity.
- There are a few questions that will almost certainly come up and it's so important to be prepared for these - have a short answer available for each of the following:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself
- What do you know about the company?
- What do you know about the role?
- Why did you leave your last role?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Describe a difficult situation you have faced with a client
- Describe a difficult situation you have had with a colleague
- What are your interests outside of work?
- What skills do you have that make you ideal for this role?
These questions could sound a little different each time, but if you can answer them all, you can answer a wide variety of challenging questions.
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- Despite having these answers prepared, make sure that you carefully listen to what is being asked. 'Tell me about a time where you have had to work closely with a team of colleagues' is very different to 'Tell me about a challenging situation you have faced with a colleague'.
- Ensure that the interview is a two-way conversation and do not be afraid to clarify the questions if you are not certain what they are asking.
- Always use positive language and avoid criticising previous companies or colleagues.
- Wherever possible, refer back to your skills and experience and how it applies to the job specification. Make sure you have a very good understanding of what will be required and don't be afraid to ask them what skills they think are important.
- Use your questions wisely. If you have impressed the interviewer then they will be keen to 'sell' the job to you. Make sure that you leave with a very clear idea of the job, the company and the people you will be working with.
- Make sure you know the next steps. Will there be a second interview? When do they expect a decision to be made?
- Finally, make sure you thank the interviewer for their time and if you like the sound of the role, do not be afraid to say so.