Interview Tips

A successful interview relies on great preparation. Watch below for advice and tips.

  • The Key To Doing Well At Interviews Is Preparation.

    You must go to the meeting armed with as much information as possible regarding the organisation. You must also be ready to discuss your own experience and give examples of the way in which you can use your skills to perform well in the role the organisation are looking to fill.

    Some basics:

    • Make sure you know the exact location and time of the meeting, as well as the full name of the interviewer and their position in the company. Allow more time than you think you need to get there – arriving late is never acceptable.
    • Dress smartly. Wear a suit, even if the company has a casual dress policy.
    • The initial greeting with your interviewer is important. Look him or her in the eye, smile, shake hands firmly and wait to be offered a seat.
    • Before the day, research the company on the web, including its products, services and offices. Have some questions ready – about the company, their plans, and the career opportunities the role might offer.
    • Refresh your mind about your own career history to date – you will be expected to talk this through with the interviewer in a confident and concise fashion. Never make any derogatory remarks about your current or former employers.
    • Try to be confident and articulate. Remember there is a balance between not talking enough and talking too much. Do your best to come across as sincere and enthusiastic.

    Examples:

    You will need to be able to give examples of the ways in which you have performed well in your previous roles. Make sure you can give positive examples of:

    • Providing exceptional customer service – ie over and above expectation
    • Working within a team and supporting other team members
    • A situation in which you turned around a failing project or task and made it a success
    • Any example of having handled a difficult situation well
    • A situation in which you handled conflict with a team member, manager or customer
    • Any other achievements that are worth mentioning or may be helpful

    It’s always a good idea to structure your answers to questions asking for examples from previous experience. One useful technique is STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Outline:

    • Situation – what was the background to the project or task you are about to describe? Why was it necessary to act?
    • Task – what were you asked to do? What was the intended end goal?
    • Action – what did you do? How did you do it?
    • Result – how did it turn out? Remember that you don’t always have to tell stories in which you are the hero. Sometimes a discussion of a project you did that had unexpected consequences, or failed, can be helpful – as long as it’s clear how you learned from it and you can outline what you would do differently now. No-one is perfect. Sometimes responding to difficulty or understanding what’s gone wrong is a great way to learn.
  • Technical Skills

    Make sure that you are fresh, and ready to answer technical questions in your field of expertise. No matter how good an interviewee you may be, if you can’t cope with the technical questions you won’t get the job – so be prepared, and be well rested.

  • Other Questions

    You are likely to be asked any number of questions but it is worth being ready to discuss:

    • Why you left your last role
    • How you prefer to be managed
    • How a company can get the best from you
    • What your career aspirations are
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses? (You do need to be able to mention a weakness, and it mustn’t be “I work too hard” – a false negative. It needs to be something that you are working on and that doesn’t prevent you from doing the job in question!)
    • What are your main motivations?
    • What personal efforts do you make to develop your skills?

Video Tips

Great interviews don’t happen by accident. They take preparation and thought. Each of these videos addresses a particular aspect of that preparation – good luck!

Video Interviewing - 5 Crucial Things To Get Right

Preparing for an interview is vital: but if you’re interviewing over a video call that’s another thing to prepare for. Here are 5 vital things to get right to make sure things start well.

Video Interviewing Part 2 - Body Language!

Interviewing over a video link brings extra challenges – you need to think about how to compensate for the lack of body language. Two tips to help you.

Video Interviewing Part 3 - STAR

How to get your message across in a video interview? Use this simple structure to plan your answers and make sure they see who you are as well as what you can do.

Video Interviewing Part 4 - Mistakes to Avoid

Hopefully you’re well prepared for your interview and you’ve set yourself up correctly – but here are 4 errors to avoid.

Job Hunting 1 - Reasons to be positive

Even in a down market there are good reasons to be positive as you look for a job – and that attitude will serve you well at interview.

Job Hunting Part 2 - Two Fundamental Questions

What do you offer a company? Why would they hire you? You’ll need answers to these questions to have a successful job search.

Job Hunting Part 3 - People Hire People

To get the job you want, you need to be able to communicate who you are, not just what you do, when it comes to an interview.

Job Hunting Part 4 - Get the basics right!

If you want to have your application reviewed and taken seriously, make sure you get the basics right.

Do your research!

If you want to interview well, make sure you’ve done your research.

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