Before The Interview
- Find out everything you can about the company from annual reports / brochures / web pages etc.
- Review your CV and think through specific questions you may be asked about it.
- Practice answers to common interview questions (listed below).
- Prepare your own questions about the company and job.
- Double check that you have the correct day and time.
- Consider making a “dummy run” to the company so that you know how much time to allow.
On the day:
- Take the company name, address and contact details with you, together with a location map. You will need these and may have to call the company if you are delayed.
- Take a copy of your CV with you.
- Dress smartly, arrive early and be polite to everyone you meet at the company.
- Have a notebook, pen and your questions to hand.
- From the moment you come into view of the interview venue look organized and composed.
- Stand up while waiting
When you are greeted:
- Carry luggage in your left hand, greet the Interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.
- When you sit down for the interview, sit at a slight angle to the interviewer, not head on. This is less confrontational.
Remind yourself that you are there to:
- Convince the interviewer that you can do the job.
- Show that you are motivated to do the job well.
- Show that you will fit in with the company and your team.
In the first 5 minutes:
- Make a good first impression. The first few minutes of an interview can count for a lot.
Throughout the interview, obey the golden rules:
- Always answer any question in a positive way.
- Avoid criticizing your previous job, employer or manager.
- Avoid awkward motivations such as a desire for more money or shorter working hours.
More key points:
- Look attentive by leaning forward
- Do not slouch
- Listen keenly, nod and orally acknowledge what you are told
- Don’t waffle
- Be prepared to support your answers with evidence, facts and figures
- Maintain some eye contact with everyone present
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t hide your personality. Talk about yourself but don’t dominate the interview
At the end of the interview:
The interviewer should ask if you have any further questions. Check your list of questions. If any are outstanding ask them now.
As you leave:
Tell the Interviewer that you are interested in the job and leave the interview with firm handshakes to everyone present.
Common interview questions to prepare for:
Before the interview think about your responses to the following questions.
Go through your responses before every interview as each application is unique. Practice until you feel confident with any of these questions.
The typical questions that are asked fall into the following categories.
- Why do you want the job?
- What skills do you think you need to do the job?
- What can you offer?
- Are you prepared to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Why should we employ you?
- How long will it be before you are making a real contribution to the company?
- How ambitious are you?
- Why did you choose a career in your industry?
- How long have you been looking for a new job?
- Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How could you improve yourself?
- What are you looking for in a new job?
- What would your ideal job be?
- Are you considering any other positions at the moment?
- Did you feel you progressed satisfactorily in your last job?
- Are you a leader?
- How do you handle criticism?
- What sort of manager are you?
- Do you work well with others? Or are you a loner?
- Are you self-motivated?
- Are you accepted into a team quickly?
- Can you act on your own initiative?
- What motivates you?
- Do you know how to motivate other people?
- What do you dislike doing?
- What problems did you encounter in your last job?
- Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?
- Can you work under pressure?
- How many hours are you prepared to work?
- What are your career goals?
- Have you been responsible for implementing quality standards.
- What interests do you have outside work?
- How long will you stay in the new job?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What do you know about this company?
- What interests you about particular products or services?
- What can the company offer that your previous company cannot?
- Your current/previous job?
- What did you think of your manager/supervisor co-workers and subordinates?
- How did you get on with them?
- What did you do on a day to day basis?
- What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?
- What has been your biggest failure?
- How often were you off sick?
- What did you earn in your last job?
- What level of salary are you looking for now?
Your current/previous employer:
- What do you think of your last employer?
- Why did you join your previous employer?
- Why are you leaving?
- Explain the structure of your last company and where you fitted in.
Questions you may want to ask in return :
- What will be my responsibilities?
- Where will I fit into the overall company structure?
- Who will I report to?
- Where do they fit in the structure?
- Who will report to me?
- What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months?
- What level of performance do you expect from me?
- Who are your customers?
- Where is the company going? Upwards? Expansion plans?
- What are the chances of advancement/promotion in this position?
- Will traveling be required in this position?
- Will relocation be required now or in the future?
- What training do you provide?
- When will you decide on the appointment?
- What is the next step?
Factors that can cost you the job:
- Being unprepared for the interview
- Being late
- Poor manners
- Complaining about previous employers
- Failing to communicate
- Being aggressive or superior
- Making excuses
- Looking scruffy
- Lacking enthusiasm
- Being evasive or vague
- Appearing greedy for money or promotion