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Interview Advice

We could all do with some help when going into that all important first, second or final interview. Here are a few interview pointers to help you feel confident and prepared for any interview.

Research and Preparation

Researching the client and their company is essential before you meet with any potential future employer. All clients will expect you to know at the very least the basics about their company to clearly demonstrate an interest in their organisation. However, as this is the minimum expectation of everyone applying for any position, take the time to research the company and the position in detail. Your consultant will be able to help with this.
 
Look at the industry and market trends for this company including everything from their last financial report through to the markets the company operates in, research competitor websites and trade publications through to confirming their company values. And importantly how you see yourself working within the company and how you can add value.
 
The day before your interview do your final prep: know who you are meeting and at what time, plan your journey allowing for delays on tubes/ trains, problems with traffic etc and dress the part for the role. 

Support Your CV

It is absolutely vital that you come ready to provide evidence that supports your CV. The client will want to know the details of your key successes throughout your career, what revenue you have generated for your current company, how your actions have improved the profitability of a company or produced costs savings. These are the hard facts that clearly identify your capabilities and ambitions. If possible bring along a portfolio of the work you have completed to support your discussions. This can include marketing work or proof of your earnings to support your sales abilities.

Questions

Not only will you be asked a range of questions in any interview but you will also be given the chance to ask some questions, so come prepared.
 
Competency based questions are used by clients so you can show real life examples to support why you are the candidate for the position. You should always use specific examples from your current and previous positions in these questions. This is your chance to show why you have made the decision you did, how you implemented these decisions and what the outcomes were. Below is an example of some competency based questions:
 
Tell me a bit about yourself?
This question will almost always get asked. This is a great opportunity for you to talk about your qualifications and range of skills and experiences that you have. Sell yourself with a focus on the job you are applying for.
 
Can you give me a recent example of when you have experienced a setback?
This can really show how you handle a situation and if you’re not careful, potentially how you caused any problem in your last job. Use this as an opportunity to discuss issues/ problems that were caused by others but resolved by you.
 
Tell me about a time when you have had to keep yourself motivated during a difficult situation?
The key thing here is to remain positive. Tell them about your determination to develop or stay focused on a job. Always point out the success of this.
 
Give me an example of where you have improved existing systems/procedures at work? How was this received by colleagues / manager?
Find an example. Break it down step by step and discuss the successful completion of the task. Also include information on how this was received by colleagues.
 
Tell me about one of your major weaknesses?
Even though it is tempting to say none that’s not what the client is after. Be honest. Give an example of where you think you could develop further. This could be further experience within a given industry, strengthening your IT skills. Whatever you choose, remember to give a solution. This shows interest in developing.
 
Why are you looking for a new job?
Although tempting to rattle off all the complaints about your previous boss/ work colleagues this is actually the best time to show where you want to develop.

Interviews are a two way conversation so prepare some questions that you want to ask the interviewer. This is your opportunity to determine if the company is right for you. Some example questions can include:
  • Who will I be reporting to?
  • How much interaction will I have with other departments?
  • What will my core responsibilities be?
  • What training or induction will be provided?
  • What are the current and future plans for the company?
  • What challenges is the company currently facing in this market?
  • What do you see the immediate challenges for this position?
  • What are the reasons for the vacancy?

Conclusion of the Interview

At the end of the interview don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time. This is also a great opportunity to ask the interviewer for feedback on the interview – if they have any reservations about you or your ability to successfully complete this role. This is your chance to overcome these concerns and leave on a positive note.
 
Once you have left the interview, contact your consultant. They will communicate with the client on your behalf and can handle any addition queries and objections raised. How quickly the client decides on the next stage interview or who has the position depends on a multitude of factors therefore keep in touch with your consultant. They will be able to give you progress updates.
 
The most important piece of advice is preparation! Do your homework and if you are in doubt, talk to your consultant before your interview.
 

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