Interview Tips

The Interview

Increasingly, employers are using competency-based interviewing techniques to gather evidence in support of a candidate’s case to ascertain that they have the ability, skills and motivation to match the ‘competencies’ outlined in the job and person specifications.

The theory behind competency-based interviewing is that past work behaviour is a good predictor of future job performance. When interviewers ask you competency-based questions, they want you to talk about how you have actually tackled real problems in the past. From this, they are trying to confirm how effectively you would tackle future problems if they were to offer you a job.

In responding to a competency-based question, the most important principle is to: Give a real example that actually happened to you. Don’t talk in broad terms about how you generally tackle those sorts of situations. Talk about a specific example.

Once you have talked about your example, the interviewer will probably ask you further questions to get a deeper understanding of what you did. So, the second key principle is: Be ready to talk about your example in a lot of detail.

Research

One of the most common mistakes to make during the application process is to carry out insufficient research on prospective employers, as often the first question will be “what do you know about us?”

Before meeting your potential employer, you’ll need to be aware of the following:

  • What does the company do?

  • Who are their major competitors?

  • What skills they are looking for, such as education or previous experience?

  • What you can offer them?

The best place to research a company is their website. Our Consultants will provide you with specific job information before you attend interviews.

Handling the Interview

No matter how well-qualified you are for a job, your personality and personal presentation will count enormously at interview.

Be prepared

  • Know who it is you are meeting, where the building is and how to get there.

  • Bring a portfolio of academic and professional work.

  • Have information ready to impress the interviewer with your research.

  • Do your homework; find out about the company, read trade magazines, visit competitors’ websites, etc.

  • Study the job specification; match it to your CV so you can provide evidence              that you meet the criteria.

  • Take your photo identification; passport, driving license.

Your first impression

  • Wear a smart but comfortable suit.

  • Remember that you’re making an impression as soon as you walk through the door.

  • Be courteous to everyone, from the Receptionist to the MD – you never know who might influence the final selection of candidates, or even the job winner.

Pitching the right salary

If your salary expectations are asked rather than under pricing or over pricing yourself, why not ask the interviewer what they would look to offer someone with your skill sets and experiences?

 

Conclusion

  • If you want the job, tell the client that you do. After all if there are 2 similar applicants applying for the job and only one says they want the position, who do you think will be offered?

  • At the end, thank your interviewer for their time and shake hands.

 

Post-interview

  • Call your Recruitment Consultant so we can take your feedback and go back to the client and fight your corner.

Questions you may be asked

  • Why are you looking to leave your current position?

  • What are your main strengths?

  • What is your biggest weakness?

  • Where have you shown excellent team working skills?

  • What is your biggest achievement?

  • Where have you demonstrated a ‘can do’ attitude?

  • What are your main skills?

  • Why are you interested in the role?

  • What progression are you looking for?

Ask the interviewer

  • What key things are they looking for the right applicant to possess

  • What would my core responsibilities be?

  • What training or induction is given?

  • What scope is there for extra work or being involved in any other aspects?

  • Where are the opportunities to progress within the company?

  • What is the next stage to the interview?

  • What reservations do they have about you?