Interview Tips

When invited for an interview you should be aware that the company are already impressed with you and are interested in progressing your application further. The interview process is there to find out if you are as good as your application portrays you to be.

Preparation is the key to any successful job interview and as the saying goes, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Our tips, advice listed below will hopefully help you prepare for that interview.

Pre-interview checklist

  • Work out how to get to your interview and the time it will take as you do not want to be late.
  • Find out what format the interview will take, is it a one to one, a panel or group interview.
  • Find out what resources are available if you are asked to do a presentation as part of your interview.
  • Prepare answers to some of the typical questions you are likely to be asked.
  • Research the organisation you are apllying to join thoroughly.
  • Check out their website for information.
  • Take a copy of the job application form, cv and any other information you submitted with your application to the interview.
  • Read the job specification thoroughly and prepare examples of skills you have relevant to the job.
  • Prepare two or three questions to ask at the interview.
  • Decide what you are going to wear. Always look tidy even if the dress code at the organisation is informal.

Interview Do's & Dont's

Do’s

  • Be on time, if you are going to be late, just ring and let them know
  • Be fully prepared with all necessary paperwork
  • Ensure that you get across your points of achievement
  • Tell them about any responsibilities you have been given
  • Keep it clear and concise
  • Sell yourself to the interviewer
  • Be open and friendly
  • Keep your cool, tone and speed of voice must be moderate
  • Look the interviewer in the eye
  • Give the interviewer space and time to take stock and ask their questions
  • Be polite and friendly to all the people in the company you meet
  • Be prepared to talk, they want the information you can give them

Dont’s

  • Be late, it always gives a bad impression
  • Slouch, lean back, make yourself too comfortable
  • Let your eyes wander around the room
  • Use slang
  • Ramble on without answering questions
  • Go unprepared
  • Show any bad manners
  • Give one word answers, you’re not answering the question properly
  • Lie about any positions / work you have done
  • Use bad language
  • Never badmouth a past or present employer, it only makes you look bad
  • Don’t argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive

Typical Questions/Subjects the Interviewer will ask

  • Your skills and experience
  • About the company, what do you know about it?
  • About the products/service – what do you know about the company’s products/services and what do you think of them?
  • The job it’self, what is your understanding of it
  • Your ambitions, what are your goals and where do you see yourself in 5 years
  • Your work history – why did you/want to leave your last/current job, what experience have you got from previous jobs?
  • Your motivation – what motivates you and which tasks give you the most satisfaction?
  • Team working – what makes a good team, a team member and team leader?
  • Your personality and interests – how would you and your friends describe yourself and what interests do you have?
  • Some interviewers may also try and see how you think on your feet by asking some unusual questions like; ‘if you were an animal, what type of animal would you be? Take your time to answer this and think of something that generally describes you and has positives which could apply to the job.

Top 10 Interview Tips (click here)

  1. The Crucial First Impression – Dress smartly and make sure you’re on time.
  2. Preparation is the Key – Do your homework! Make sure you know as much as you can about the company so you have sensible and intelligent questions to ask.
  3. Write down and practice possible questions – Writing down and practicing your questions will help you remember what they are and will also make them flow in the conversation.
  4. Be honest – Do not lie about your background or skills. You will get caught out.
  5. Talk about Specific Achievements – Your possible future employer is always interested in the things you have achieved throughout your career so far. Make sure you include this information in your interview.
  6. Body Language – Be aware of your body language. Don’t put up a defensive barrier between yourself and the interviewer. Sit up straight, don’t slouch, look alert and interested.
  7. Language – Don’t overpower your interviewer with constant comments, it should be a two way conversation and make sure you only use positive statements.
  8. Take all your necessary paperwork – Make sure you take all your necessary paperwork with you to your interview and another copy of your CV, just in case.
  9. Be enthusiastic and positive – Don’t overdo it and start getting overexcited but make sure the interviewer is aware you are interested. Don’t criticise any previous employers.
  10. The Final Impression – Smile, thank them for their time and say that you enjoyed discussing the job with them and you look forward to hearing from them soon.