Interview Tips

Prior to your interview we will provide you with written confirmation of your interview and contact name(s), and where possible, a full Job Description, Company information, and a location map. We will also let you know if you will be required to take any additional information such as examples of your work, or whether you will be required to carry out any other form of interview, ability or psychometric testing.

Other forms of interview can include:

  • Assessment Centres.
  • Visiting the workplace to see how you interact with others.
  • Being taken for a meal (beware of alcohol).
  • Being asked to write a project or hold a presentation.
  • Being asked to show examples of your work.
  • Psychometric, verbal or numerical reasoning tests.
  • Panel Interview.
  • Telephone Interview.
  • Video Conference.
  • Skype

If you feel nervous about interviews, remember the interviewer will want you to do well. Hostile interviewers are very few and far between. It is possible that some interviewers might try to rattle interviewees, because they want to know how a prospective employee would react under stress. Just remember to keep your poise throughout the interview.

Interviewing can be hard work for the interviewer too. Even if the interviewer's technique is poor, try to avoid one-word answers. Making it easier for them can to be your advantage.

Do not ask early on in an interview about salary, benefits, holidays, etc. Unfortunately such questions may give a negative impression of your priorities.

Remember that no matter how long an interview continues you may not know at the end of it whether or not you have been selected. Your interviewer may be seeing more people, and there may be a second or third interview. However, don't be afraid to ask if you are the type of person that they are looking for, and when a decision will be made.

Contact us with feedback as soon as possible after your interview so that we can follow up with our client on your behalf.

Finally, it is often a good idea to write a letter to the company following an interview, if you want the job. It will get your name in front of the interviewer again, and allows you the opportunity to express your continued interest.

Step-by-step Guide to a Successful Interview

Preparation

Prepare as fully as you can for your interview by carrying out some research of your own on the company eg. visit their web site, research the industry, and list any questions you would like to ask the interviewer.

  • Prepare yourself for questions you may be asked by the interviewer e.g:
  • Remember the interviewer will be thinking: "What can this person do for our company? What can they contribute?" Know how to sell yourself, your skills and your potential. You are not always going to be as you are now - you are going to be better. Project a positive image.

Appearance

Unless otherwise specified, dress smartly and appropriately in a way that follows the conventions of your job sector. If you are unsure ask your Recruitment Consultant what the company's dress code is. However, you should look clean, tidy and comfortable. Your general appearance is important. Taking trouble with your appearance is a good sign that the job is important to you and is encouraging to a prospective employer. It also conveys the impression of efficiency and being in command of the situation.

Avoid extremes, and do not overdress. Do not wear excessive jewellery, and avoid clutter. If you need to take anything other than a briefcase, portfolio or handbag, ask to leave it in reception during the interview.

Planning the Journey

If you are travelling a long distance to the interview and you require reimbursement for travel expenses, please check with us first so that we can clear this with our client, as not all companies pay travel expenses.

If possible do a trial run before hand so that you know how long the journey will take and where the parking facilities are.

Be punctual. Arrive at the interview ahead of time, but not too early - 5-10 minutes beforehand is ideal. Never be late. If you do have any problems let the company know.

Entering the Interview

  • If you are carrying a mobile phone with you, make sure it is switched off during the interview.
  • The first few minutes of an interview are of critical importance. Be polite to everyone you meet.
  • Walk into the interview confidently, with a good posture, relaxed and smiling.
  • Know the name of your interviewer so that you can use it when you shake their hand before the interview.
  • Shake hands firmly and briefly, and establish eye contact.

During the Interview

  • Smile when you arrive, leave and when appropriate during the interview.
  • Be relaxed and enthusiastic. Look interested. Show that you enjoy your work.
  • Sit with an erect posture, don't slump.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer when you speak to each other.
  • Respond to points made during the interview.
  • Make your contributions relevant, clear and to the point.
  • Take time to listen to questions and consider your answers.
  • Keep answers informative, but not too long.
  • Know and remember relevant dates of employment and qualifications.
  • Be courteous - avoid being aggressive.
  • Do not smoke, even if invited.

Attributes the interviewer will be looking for

  • A confident nature (never be arrogant, nor too reserved).
  • A good standard of spoken English - accents don't matter, but sloppy speech does.
  • Enthusiasm and self-motivation.
  • A positive and helpful attitude.
  • Initiative.
  • Organisation, and attention to important detail.
  • A good grasp of the facts.
  • Ability to work under pressure, see a job through and meet deadlines.
  • Good communication skills and ability to express ideas.
  • A steady track record and evidence of personal development.
  • Examples to back up the facts.

Avoid

  • Getting too close to the interviewer.
  • Putting your hands in your pockets.
  • Crossing your arms tightly in front of you.
  • Placing your hands or fingers over your mouth when you speak.
  • Interrupting the interviewer.
  • Criticising present or past employer.
  • A flippant attitude.
  • Controversial issues such as politics or religion.

Telephone interviews

Telephone interviews can often be used as an initial screening process, or to gain specific information. It can last for as little as 10 minutes, to 30 minutes or more.

If you are asked to take part in a telephone interview, it should be treated as seriously as a formal face to face interview. An appointment will normally be arranged for a specific day and time when it will be convenient for you to talk without interruption or distraction.

  • It is important that you listen to the interviewer carefully and respond in a relaxed and confident manner.
  • Keep answers short and succinct.
  • You can project yourself more effectively by standing up, and by smiling to sound friendly and open.
  • You will be judged by the same criteria used in a face-to-face interview but the sound of your voice, and your level of friendliness and enthusiasm are the only factors the interviewer will have in forming an opinion of you.

Video conference interviews

Video conferences can last as long as one or two hours and you should always remember that the interviewer(s) can see you at all times! As with a telephone interview, a video conference should be treated as seriously as a formal face-to-face interview

  • If you are not already familiar with video conferencing, make sure you familiarise yourself with the equipment beforehand.
  • Since it is not possible to shake hands as a greeting, we suggest that you could raise your hand by way of acknowledgement.
  • Try to be animated during the interview (but not too much!).

Good luck!