By Samantha Chambers
As an established recruitment agency, our team have a combined 50+ years experience in interviewing candidates as well as coaching them on interview techniques.
We have put together some key interview tips and advice.
Review your CV
One of the most common mistakes when applying for a new job is assuming your CV is a ‘one size fits all’. It is important to review your CV for every role you apply for. By doing so you can ensure you highlight your key skills and experience against the job specification. This will give you more success of securing an interview as it will be clear to see why you are the right person for the job!
Research the Company
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in interviewing is the preparation. Researching the company will be expected by every interviewer. Give yourself time to research not only the company website, but the industry and competitors.
Know your USP’s!
Knowing your Unique Selling Points and how you can add value to a company is key to demonstrating why you are right for the role and why a company should employ you over others. Be confident in your abilities but be careful not to come across too arrogant. You need to find the right balance.
Review the Job Spec
This may seem an obvious place to start, but knowing the role you are interviewing for is crucial to your interview preparation and overall interview success. A full job spec may not always be available – but where possible ask for one if it has not been provided. It will outline the specifics of the job including main responsibilities, experience required and most will include a person specification.
For each of the requirements of the role ensure you have prepared an example of how you have demonstrated that experience in preparation for ‘Can you give me an example of’ style questions.
Standard interview questions – have your answers prepared!
Whilst you cannot guarantee what questions you will be asked in the interview there are certain questions that you may come across more than others!
Being well prepared with some example answers will help you answer the questions more effectively in the interview. Keeping succinct with your answers is key, as well as remaining honest and truthful. Keep things positive – especially when talking about your previous role or employer. For example, if the reason for you wanting to leave is because there is no training or support in your role, consider wording it – I am looking to move to a company who better fits my career aspirations and development. Keep your answers professional – but be sure to let your personality shine through.
Example interview questions include:
- Tell me about Yourself
- If you had to describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
- What are your strengths?
- Do you have any weakness’?
- Why are you looking to leave your current role?
- What are you looking for in a new position?
- Why do you want to work for ABC Limited?
- How do you deal with pressure and or stressful situations? Can you provide an example?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
Stuck on what to answer for some of the above? Take a look at our ‘Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions and How best to Answer Them’ page for more tips and advice.
Don’t be scared to Ask Questions!
Prepare some questions you want to ask the employer prior to the interview. It may be that many of these may be answered, but it ensures you come out of the interview with all the information you need to make an informed decision about the role. After all, you need to make sure the role is right for you as much as the employer needs to ensure you are right for the role.
Asking questions can also show your interest in a role. It can show you are serious about considering a position.
If you come to the end of an interview and have no questions – let them know. Rather than just saying ‘no’ perhaps say I had some questions lined up before I came into the interview but we have had such a productive meeting that I feel we have covered them all, but thank you for asking.
Expect the Unexpected!
Whilst we can guide you to what you can expect when interviewing, always expect the unexpected! Our advice is listen carefully to questions and be yourself.
First Impressions Count!
You will hear this all the time – but it really does make a big difference when interviewing. From the way to dress, to the way you shake their hand – you will be surprised how easily it is to fail at an interview before you get to answering any questions.
If you are interviewing through an agency, then they will be able to guide you on dress code for the company – but if in doubt – dress to impress! A firm handshake is always a good idea and brush up on your eye contact skills! Be confident and try and loose the nerves. Introduce yourself and be prepared. Take a copy of your CV and a notepad and pen.
Last but not least, I wanted to leave you with the best advice we can give you…
FAIL TO PREPARE – PREPARE TO FAIL!
Good luck with your interviews. If you are interviewing through Pursuit Resources Group we would be happy to provide further interview coaching – you just need to ask!