Being invited to an interview means you’ve passed the first test – your application must have made a good impression. Now you need to prepare yourself for the interview to ensure you are successful at this stage.
- What do they do?
- How many employees are there?
- At how many locations?
- How long has the company been established?
- What is the product range and list of services?
- Find out recent news about them.
- Jot down a list of likely questions
- Jot down positive things you want to say about yourself
- Jot down all of the questions you want to ask
- Rehearse the answers to the questions referring to your positive list and writing down bullet point reminders as you go. Make sure you include everything without repetition or rambling.
- Repeat last step until fluent and without hesitation.
- Spend 10 minutes going over bullet lists just before you go into the interview.
- Don’t forget your list of questions.
- Find out the details of the interview
- What are the date, time and location?
- Allow plenty of time for travel; aim to arrive at least 10 minutes early.
- If you are held up, phone ahead and let them know.
- If possible, do a trial run (check timetables or parking availability).
- Who will be interviewing you?
How should you dress?
- First impressions are important! Dress suitably, be well-groomed and wear something you are comfortable in. Your consultant can advise if you are unsure.
What should you take?
- Copy of current CV.
- Relevant certificates and references.
- Notepad and pen.
- Questions to ask the interviewer.
Pick out your skills or achievements that are directly relevant and rehearse these ahead of the interview. Find opportunities to sell yourself, relating your skills to the role you are applying for.
Most interviews follow a similar format:
Questions based on your CV to explain your career path and ambitions:
- Rehearse skills and achievements that are directly relevant
- Be prepared to explain any unusual parts of your CV, such as any long periods of time taken out for education or travelling etc
General questions about you
- How much do you know about this contract?
- What interests you about the job?
- What experience or skills do you have that makes you right for this contract?
- Tell me about/why did you leave your last contract?
- What interests you about this company?
- When have you had the opportunity to show initiative?
- Who and what were you responsible for at your last job?
- Give an example of when you coped well under pressure?
- Do you prefer to work as an individual or as part of a team?
- What are your three biggest achievements so far in your career?
- What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your long term goals? How are you going to succeed in achieving them?
Are you considering any other roles?
Telling you about the company and position
- Which department the vacancy is in and how that fits within the company
- Who you would be working for and with
- Asking relevant questions shows you are interested, organised and able to plan ahead.
- Rate and benefits are important, but a client will be more impressed if you ask questions about the company, the department and the role first.
- Good questions to ask are about any training opportunities, who you will report to and who you will be working with.
Informing you of the next stage of the process and when you will hear if you have been successful.
- Whether there is a second or third round of interviews