Interview Preparation

Research and preparation is the key to a successful interview. Employers are looking for 'the best' person for the job and the decision will be based on this brief meeting. Ensure you speak confidently about the post and know some background to the company.

Preparation and research help minimise interview nerves thus allowing the candidate to concentrate on a productive meeting.

First of all, confirm where the interview is being held and double check the date and time.

  • Plan your route in advance and allow plenty of time in case of traffic or misdirection. If necessary contact us for direction information.
  • Make sure you know the name and position of the person conducting the interview. If necessary, ring the company or ourselves to clarify.
  • We will supply any necessary telephone numbers for your convenience - remember to have them on your person.
  • Research the company background and the position you are applying for. Knowledge of the company will show genuine interest and help you to gain an insight into the day to day running of their affairs. Should you have difficulty obtaining any information, we will do our best to provide you with some information about the prospective client.
  • Check the company website. It will provide an array of interesting and relevant materials including publications (some on your specialist subjects), press releases and literature regarding the company ethos, its vision and policies.
  • Consider what questions you may be asked at the interview.
  • Read and re-read your CV. It is vital you are familiar with the content. Your CV will be the basis for discussion at the interview and you could be questioned on any aspect. Take several copies with you and review the CV whilst waiting to be seen.
  • Your appearance should be smart, even if the company is quite informal. A first impression is a lasting one. Wear a suit to suggest a professional and formal approach. -Allow adequate time for personal preparation and do not overlook anything that will enhance your appearance. (It's easy to overlook but if you wear glasses, ensure they are clean and polished before meeting the firm!)
  • Ensure you have prepared some pertinent questions to ask during the interview. Your research will highlight areas for discussion.
  • First impressions are lasting. Your CV has appealed to the employer and all agree that your skills and experience are well matched to the position. The interview will last no more than an hour or so and during this time you must show why you are the best personality for the job. Ultimately, be yourself to be successful.

Useful tips to consider during the interview:

  • Never be late. It is unprofessional and will make the wrong first impression.
  • Enter the room with a smile and a positive attitude.
  • Shake hands firmly but gently, be calm and maintain eye contact.
  • Always be natural during the interview.
  • Be alert, sit up in your chair and show you are interested. You convey meaning through how you hold yourself, so be aware of your body language and of the interviewer.
  • Answer questions clearly and precisely.
  • Be confident when discussing your strong points. Identify weaknesses to show you are aware of them.
  • Try to ask questions you have prepared and show a genuine interest.
  • Never be negative about a past employer.
  • Never discuss remuneration at a first interview unless asked.
  • Thorough preparation is the key to a successful interview and a positive attitude reflects well on the candidate.

Questions that you might be asked at the interview:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why would you like to work for our company?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you discuss some of your achievements?
  • What has been the hardest point of your career and how did you cope?
  • When and how have you shown initiative in your current position?
  • What are your goals in life? How will this position help you achieve them?
  • What have you done that shows initiative in your career?
  • How do you work under pressure and tackle difficult and sensitive situations?
  • How effectively do you work with a team?
  • Can you describe your relationship with your colleagues?
  • How do you prioritise your workload?
  • Do you delegate? Can you give an example?

Questions you could ask at the interview:

  • What are the career prospects?
  • What kinds of people have previously been successful in the company?
  • Why has the position arisen?
  • What is the structure of the department?
  • How will I be appraised?
  • What will the first 6 - 12 months involve?
  • Are there training and development opportunities?
  • What are the main company objectives?
  • What do you enjoy most about working for this company?