• SMART - We know what good looks like
  • PROFESSIONAL - But such a friendly bunch
  • FLEXIBLE - We tailor our services to suit you
  • PERSONAL - We take the time to get to know you
  • CARING - We deal with people, not CV's

How to Succeed at Interviews

HandshakeA short guide to securing the job you really want.

An interview is your opportunity to sell yourself and to find out more about the position and the company. How you interview is up to you, but there are some basic rules that will help you to succeed.

KNOW THE COMPANY BACKGROUND

Find out as much as possible about the company, including their products/services, markets, structure, website and so on. If you know anyone who works in their field, ask them what they know.

KNOW YOUR OWN CV

Make sure you know your own CV fully.  Be able to answer or refer to any points covered in it. If the interview has been set up through a recruitment consultancy, make sure you have an up to date description of the role and ensure that you get a copy to take with you for the interview.

PREPARE FOR STANDARD INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

There are a number of standard interview questions – be ready for them.  They can include:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? (These will be competency-based question and you need to have prepared appropriately for your answers)
  • What did you like/dislike about your current/old job (do not play too heavily on the dislikes and don’t badmouth previous staff/management)
  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?
  • What has been your biggest achievement to date?
  • Why should we employ you for this role?
  • How would your friends/colleagues describe you?
  • What is your plan for the next 2/5/10 years?

THINK ABOUT INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES

Think about who is interviewing you and what they are trying to achieve.  For instance, the prime concern of an HR person is likely to be to assess your character and ensure you will fit the company culture.  On the other hand, the manager who is interviewing you for his/her department will want to test your skills to make sure you have the skills for the job and that you will fit in with the team.

DOUBLE CHECK THE LOCATION

Find out exactly where you are being interviewed and which location you will be working in.  If possible go to the location before hand to ensure you know where you are going and how long the journey will take you.

BE EARLY

Always aim to be ten minutes early.  If you are running late, you should call the recruitment consultant if they have set up the interview, or call the company direct so they can let the interviewer know.

DRESS TO IMPRESS

First impressions count so wear your best suit and make sure your shoes are clean.

ENGAGE WITH THE INTERVIEWERS

On meeting the interviewer(s), be enthusiastic and polite.  Maintain eye contact at all times.  If there are several interviewers try and make eye contact with each one at different points during the interview.  Try not to be unsettled if one person appears to be there solely to observe you.  Mimic the style of interviewer: if they are formal, be formal: if they are informal, be informal.

PREPARE FOR DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

If you do not understand the question, don’t guess: ask the interviewer to explain further.  If you don’t know something tell them you don’t know, but ask how you would go about finding the answer.

DON’T TALK TOO MUCH

The communication stream should be fairly even between interviewer and interviewee.

TAKE YOUR TIME IN ANSWERING QUESTIONS

Before you answer, THINK.  It is better to take your time and give a good, considered reply rather than rushing in with the wrong answer.

ASK QUESTIONS

This will make you come across interested as well as allow you to find out more about the company. Your questions could include:

• Why is this position available?
• What training is offered?
• How often will I be appraised?
• What is staff retention like?
• What are the company’s growth plans?

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer how they felt it went and when you are likely to hear about the outcome.  You should also let them know you are interested in the role and thank them for their time.

To increase your chance of getting interviewed for the best jobs in Hampshire, register with us by calling one of our friendly, professional consultants on 01256 334575 or pop in and see us.

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