Interview Advice

Improve your interview technique

You rarely get a second chance to create a good first impression. You are more likely to bag that job if you take time out to prepare.

Research the company

This seems like pretty basic advice, but it’s the first thing you should do, to prepare. You must know company name, how it’s pronounced and what it does.

If you want to shine during the interview, you should go the extra mile and find out the aims of the company, any awards they have won and read recent press releases.

Most employers are interested in what you know about the company, so this information always comes in handy. If you try to research unusual aspects of the company, they’ll think you’re a dedicated and interesting candidate.

Know the job description

Before you go to an interview, know the advertised job description inside out. This includes the duties, responsibilities and key competences. This will help you prepare for any questions regarding the role.

The employer will want to know if you can perform the key duties, so you should know exactly what they consist of.

Prepare to speak about your achievements, especially those that demonstrate your ability to perform the role well – the job description will help you choose the relevant ones.

Research your CV

During an interview your CV is your lifeline, so make sure you know it! You’re at an interview because the employer thought your experience and skills were suited for the role, so now is your chance to expand on the points mentioned on your CV.

An employer will often ask you about a job role or an achievement. They may want to know what you enjoyed in your past role or how you succeeded in a task, so be prepared to talk about your CV in length. Don’t forget to remember your working dates or any stats you’ve mentioned, you may be asked about these too!

Get to know your interviewer

Getting to know your interviewer can do wonders for your interview, and social networking websites such as LinkedIn are a great way to research their working life.

Company websites are also a good place to look, as some employers include personal profiles of their employees. It can help you build a bond during the interview and reveal what skills they value.

So, what exactly should you look out for and what’s appropriate?

Researching an interviewer can act as a conversation starter, but make sure it’s always work related.

Perhaps they are a member of the same professional association, have worked for a company you admire or maybe you share a contact – these are potential things you can speak about if the chance arises. It can also help you decide how to focus your interview answers, by researching the interviewer it could give you an insight into their goals or what they value.

Memorise interview questions and answers

Your basic preparation should consist of memorising your answers to the most common interview questions.

Although you can’t predict what the interviewer will ask, there are certain questions that are likely to come up and you should know the answers to.

If you have covered the basics you should be able to reword your existing answers and apply them to any question that is thrown at you!

You should write down the interview questions and your answers, and practice saying them aloud until you can answer them without hesitation.

Here are some of the most common interview questions. For your Q&A add as many of you can think of, but focus on getting these right first.

1. Tell me about yourself?
2. What do you know about the company?
3. Why should we hire you?
4. Why did you choose a career in this field?
5. What are your future goals?
6. What can you bring to the company?
7. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
8. Tell me about a time you have led a team successfully?
9. Tell me about a time you have demonstrated teamwork?
10. Tell me about a time you’ve resolved conflict.
11. Tell me about a time you’ve solved a problem.
12. Most CVs contain at least one lie, what’s yours?

Look the part

It goes without saying that appearances at an interview count for a lot. So, dress smartly, cleanly and conservatively – this isn’t the time to experiment with that daring new look. Stains on your clothing, food in your teeth or cigarette breath won’t go over too favourably, so check yourself thoroughly before you leave and then once again before you meet your interviewer.

Good luck!