Preparation for Interview

PREPARATION FOR THE INTERVIEW

  • Research the company via their corporate web-site.
  • Request company brochures / literature to gain further insight into the company.
  • Find out as much as possible about the company e.g. products / services, markets and structure.
  • Ask for a job description to establish which of your skills and qualifications are relevant.
  • Ask your recruitment consultant to give you as much information as possible about the vacancy and the company.
  • Take an up to date copy of your CV to the interview, a notepad and pen may also be handy.
  • Prepare some questions to ask at the interview.
  • Allow plenty of time for the journey and aim to arrive at least ten minutes early, this may give you a chance to read company literature often kept in the reception area.
  • Don't forget to check timetables or parking availability.

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES:

  • Personnel / HR focus on whether you fit in with the company culture and that you have the general skills to do the job.
  • Department Managers' focus more on your specific skills and your personality to ensure you can technically do the job and will fit in with the team.
  • Be prepared for a possible panel interview and answer questions looking from one interviewer to another.

POSSIBLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

  • How much do you know about the vacancy / company?
  • What do you see as the main functions of the vacancy?
  • How do you visualise a typical day?
  • What interests you about the position?
  • What do you see as the satisfactions of the job?
  • What do you anticipate the frustrations to be?
  • What skills or experience do you have that make you right for the position?
  • What qualities do you have that make you right for this position?
  • Who and what were you responsible for in your last job?
  • What has been your biggest achievement in your career to date?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Give an example of when you coped well under pressure?
  • When have you had an opportunity to show initiative?
  • What motivates you?
  • How do you motivate yourself?
  • What de-motivates you?
  • How do you analyse your own performance?
  • How do you think that you could improve your own performance?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Why do you wish to leave your current job / last job?
  • If you could change one aspect of your current / last position, what would that be and why?
  • What are you looking for in your next position?
  • Choose 5 words to describe yourself?
  • What 5 words would your previous boss use to describe you?
  • Describe a time when you received negative feedback about your performance?
  • Are you considering other vacancies?

EXAMPLE QUESTIONS YOU MAY WANT TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER

  • Ask relevant questions that show you are interested, e.g. future plans of the company / position, how long has the company been in business, who are their competitors?
  • What are the company's growth plans?
  • What is the company culture / ethos?
  • Ask about training opportunities, promotion prospects etc.?
  • Ask for more information about the duties and responsibilities required in the position?
  • How many employees do they have, how many other offices do they have, UK and overseas?
  • What is staff retention like?
  • Why has the vacancy arisen?
  • Find out more about the people / team you would be working with?
  • Ask about the interview procedure, whether there is a second or third round of interviews?
  • Ask plenty of questions to show you are interested in the company and position?
  • Confirm the salary and benefits with your recruitment consultant prior to the interview rather than ask at the interview. By leaving your consultant to negotiate on your behalf you will often end up with a more comprehensive offer.

INTERVIEW TIPS:

  • Be honest
  • Smile where appropriate and show enthusiasm for the company and position
  • Find opportunities to sell yourself, relating your skills to the position
  • Remain motivated and give positive responses
  • Show that you have researched the company
  • Don't criticise your previous employers or colleagues
  • Take time if necessary to answer a question, give yourself time to think
  • Seek clarification if you are unsure of the meaning of the question
  • If you can't answer a question, be honest
  • Keep your answers clear and to the point
  • Ask when you'll be given a decision and when you can expect to hear from them
  • Tell them you are interested in the job if you are
  • Thank the interviewer for seeing you
  • A letter of thanks is an excellent way to follow up on an interview and remain in the person's mind, it might make all the difference!