Interview Preparation

Your success will depend on the quality of your preparation – about the company, about the role, and about the kinds of issues that are likely to be discussed. Remember, most companies are proud of their accomplishments and you should demonstrate that you’re aware of them. Find out as much background information as you can. What is their business? How many employees do they have? What is the company’s mission and philosophy? Its’ turnover and profits?

Of course, when your interview has been arranged through ‘Us’ , then your Consultant will be able to provide most of the background information you need. Once you have the key information, prepare a short response to the question, “What do you know about us?” This will allow you to show that you’ve taken the trouble to find out and are interested.

Formulate questions to ask the interviewer

Analyze the job description and prepare a list of questions you may like to ask. For example:

  • What would you see as my first priority if I am appointed to this position?
  • What training and promotional opportunities are there?
  • Why has the job become available?
  • Who will I report to?

Naturally, many of these questions may be answered without you having to ask them, but if you are prepared in advance you will make sure you get all the information you need.

Anticipate some likely interview questions

On the basis of your CV and the job description, you can probably anticipate many of the questions the interviewer is likely to ask. Once again, put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. What will she be looking for? Typical questions include:

  • What qualifications or experience do you have that would make you a success in this company?
  • What jobs have you enjoyed most? The least? Why?
  • What have you done that shows initiative?
  • Why do you want this position?
  • What’s important to you in your job?

It’s also important to identify any subjects or areas that might create problems for you and make sure you have a response you are happy with. “Have you ever been made redundant?” “What do you think of your current boss?” “Are you ready for a job like this?” Your ability to give brief, focused and reassuring answers to sensitive questions like these will strengthen your prospects of success.

Making a good ‘first impression’

Like it or not, your appearance can influence the interviewer’s assessment of your suitability for the job. Being smart, clean and well groomed is a good start. But there are numerous other factors to take into account regarding personal dress and presentation, which you can explore in First Impressions Count.

Make sure you arrive early for the interview and don’t rely too heavily on the efficiency of public transport or a traffic-free journey. By arriving at least 15 minutes early, you will have a chance to relax, gather your thoughts and possibly read any company literature that is available. Also remember to be pleasant to receptionists and other staff you meet: they will often be asked for their impressions of you.