Successful Interview Preparation

Interview preparation and research is key to a successful interview, there is nothing worse than meeting a candidate with a great CV but they cannot articulate why they want the role, or have not researched the company and what they do.

First Impressions – Body Language Counts

You are on interview as soon as you pull into the car park or walk into the reception area.

  • Present yourself with confidence.
  • Be warm and friendly to the receptionist, they are often asked their opinion.
  • Shake hands firmly when introducing yourself to the interviewer and make eye contact.
  • Don’t sit down until you are invited to. If you are being interviewed by more than one person and you have an opportunity to, choose a position that allows you to face all interviewers directly.
  • To demonstrate your enthusiasm and that you are actively listening, lean slightly forward on the seat and nod in agreement at appropriate moments and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Remain alert with good posture – don’t slouch or cross your arms.
  • Be aware of nervous habits – don’t doodle on notes, click a pen, run hands through hair, etc.
  • Do not chew gum in interviews.
  • Pause before answering questions.
  • Don’t worry about silences from the interviewer they give you time to think.

Make Sure You Do Your Research

  • Make sure you know the nature of the company’s business and when it was established.
  • How many locations they operate from – UK and internationally.
  • How many people they employ.
  • Visit the office location before the interview.
  • Plan where to park and the journey time.
  • Visit their website but also use other sources for information e.g. Search Engines, local press, ask friends and colleagues.
  • Establish what the interview processes will be.
  • Prepare for any assessments

Review the Job Description

  • Read through the job description and your CV
  • Highlight areas in your CV which demonstrate skills and experience required in the job description
  • Make a note of any areas which you feel you do not have specific skills and experience in, and know how you would address this if questioned in the interview.
  • Prepare scenarios which demonstrate your skills and experience.

Typical Interview Questions to be Prepared for

Being interviewed is a little like playing a role in a play. Rehearse your answers and you will feel more relaxed on the day.

Most Common Questions Asked

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why do you want to work for …….?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job?
  • Which job have you enjoyed the most and why?
  • What don’t you like about your current job?
  • What relevant experience do you have for this position?
  • What motivates you?
  • Do you think ambition is a good thing?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What are your strengths & weaknesses?

More In-depth Questions

  • What is the most enjoyable aspect of your current job?
  • How would your current line manager describe you?
  • How would the team you manage describe your management style?
  • How do you feel you would adapt to a new working environment?
  • What particular skill do you have that your current employer will miss if you leave their employment?
  • Give an example of how you have dealt with a problem or conflict within the workplace?
  • Is the customer always right?
  • What is the most difficult decision you have had to make?
  • What mistakes have you learnt from and why?
  • Sell me this pen?
  • Why should our company offer you the position?

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