Interview Tips

The most important things to remember in an interview are to be yourself, stay calm, stay focused and be prepared. Everyone is a little nervous about interviews - even the interviewer!  Here are some more tips;

  • No 1 and most important, know your CV! Know what dates, duties and achievements you have outlined because you will be asked about these.
  • Think about why you want the job, what interests you about the employer – write down your reasons and why you are best for the job
  • Practise interviewing – some of the most frequent interview questions as warm ups to your specific experience may include your strengths, your weaknesses, achievements of targets, reason for wanting to move, your ambitions, why you want the job, what you know about the company.
  • Learn about the company. Research the company, have an idea about the market it trades within, who are their competitors, what do they do, what are their products or services, how do they sell themselves, how long have they been in operation, what are their successes. Read articles from trade magazines or business related mediums.
  • Most interviews will conclude with an opportunity to ask the interview panel some questions. Be prepared for this, if you prefer to write down your questions on a notebook and take this into the interview with you then do so.
  • Dress to impress, a smart business suit is best. Men should always wear a tie to interview. Women should strive for well fitting garments that they are comfortable and feel professional in. Worrying about your clothes, hair or make up in the interview will detract you from the content. If in doubt ask your consultant about their experience of the organisation.
  • Take an extra copy of your CV along to the interview along with a pen and a notebook – just in case you want to make notes.
  • BE ON TIME, aim to be there 15 minutes before the interview if possible. This will give you some time to gather your thoughts and composure.
  • Shake hands with each member of the interview panel, and listen to the introductions that are made. Handshakes should be firm and use the whole of your hand, practise Try to remember names and use them to address individuals. A good tip to remember names is to repeat them after you have been introduced to them…. Alan, good to meet you Alan…. Joan, nice to meet you….Jason, pleasure to meet you Jason. Saying them twice at the beginning makes them feel less alien when you get to the questions.
  • Make eye contact. Of course you cannot look at everyone at once so concentrate on the person who is asking the question, when they have finished the question address them for the first few seconds then vary your eye contact throughout, try to think of it as checking if they are listening to you.
  • Speak clearly and concisely. Remind yourself to speak more slowly, take a second to listen to the question, consider it then counter your response. If you don’t understand a question ask for clarification. If you still don’t understand and the interviewer hasn’t proffered an alternative approach to the question tell them your understanding of what they have asked you and ask if that is what they mean, then answer the question accordingly.
  • Stay positive. If you are asked a question that prompts a negative answer try to finish your response with a positive as a counteractive measure. So, no I don’t have xxxx but I do have xxxx which means xxxx.
  • Know about the company and try to weave in comments that make it clear you have researched them and know how you can be an important asset to them.
  • Look interested, stay focused on what the interviewer is saying
  • Ask questions, try to engage the interviewer in conversation, if you can do this you will know you have formed a rapport
  • Be yourself, the most confident and professional version of yourself. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself however be careful not to appear to over assertive or arrogant. Be polite and mannerly and even if you decide the company isn’t for you, represent yourself in the best possible light. You never know where you might this person in the future.
  • Thank the panel for their time, address them by name if possible and tell them you are looking forward to hearing from them.