Securing an interview is half the battle, but interviews are ‘make or break’ time.
No matter how good your career record is to date, you can’t expect to walk into interview without spending time on preparation and planning.
As obvious as it sounds preparation is the key. You will no doubt be up against several other applicants so you need to be one step ahead of the game and ensure you know the following before the BIG day.
You need to know this inside out. Ensure all dates are correct, you have valid reasons for leaving every role, can talk about any achievements and any IT systems you used.
The Job Spec
Read through this is depth. Try to think of any relevant experience/knowledge you can bring to each point on the spec and be ready to give examples.
Where possible try and have a drive out to the company ‘before’ your interview date. This way you’ll know exactly where you’re going on the day and can avoid feeling flustered, but you’ll also know whether they have parking on site and generally get a good feel for the place.
ALWAYS look at the company’s website as this provides invaluable information on their history, what they do and sometimes provides information on the structure and any expansion plans. You can use the knowledge you learn to develop questions ready to ask the employer. One of the first questions the employer will no doubt ask, will be “What do you know about the company?”
The Interview Technique
Ask who you’ll be meeting, will there will be any tests and do you need to bring anything with you, at which point the client will normally outline the structure of the interview for you.
Planning For Your Interview
The employer will lead the interview but it’s good to have your own plan in place.
- Take your own copy of your C.V. and anything else relevant such as references, it’s good to have something to hold and useful to refer back to just in case you need clarification on anything!
- Ensure you are on time or at least a little early, within reason!
- Give good eye contact, a nice firm handshake and don’t forget to smile!
- Wait until you’re asked to be seated before diving for the chair!
- After each question, take a little moment to pause and think about your answer before you rush in and risk getting tongue tied!
- Always try to have a question ready for them at the end as nine times out of ten they ‘will’ ask if you have any questions!
- Thank them for their time and confirm you’re extremely interested in the role.
(If that’s still the case!)
Here are a selection for you to consider:
Tell us a little about yourself?
Give them a brief summary about you as a person and your career to date – as the questions that follow will usually become more specific, such as:
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What sort of company would you like to work for?
Why do you feel you’re right for this role?
What can you bring to our company?
What are your main strengths?
Give us an example of a time when you had to show initiative.
What is your main weakness and what are you going to do to change it?
(Try and turn this into a positive)
What is your current/last salary?
How do you spend your spare time?
What hobbies do you have?
Remember to prepare, plan and be personable.