The interview is your opportunity to make a good first impression to a new employer and it will help you find out about the specifications of the position and company background.
The Pensions & Benefits team take a look at the preparation required for a successful interview.
Whether you are just starting out on your pensions career, or have attained a high level of seniority; the interview process is always a daunting one. You must bring your ‘a’ game on the day, as you only get one chance to beat the competition. Thorough preparation therefore, is a must!
Your basic groundwork for every Pensions job interview is researching the company, and we highly recommend that you don’t leave your research to the last minute.
Information in the public domain
• The “About Us” - find out about the background and familiarise yourself with the products they deal with.
• Key people within the company – if the website doesn’t give you the information, LinkedIn and Google are good sources.
• Competitors – demonstrate your market knowledge through awareness of the company’s main competitors and their market share.
• Latest news – the company’s website will often publish their press releases, and make sure you check the industry news as well for latest published information.
Talk to your consultant
A good consultant will talk you through details of the company and brief you on a variety of information including:
Who will be interviewing you
What format the interview will take
• Company culture
• The structure of the team
• How the role came about and its long term prospects
This is also an ideal opportunity to quiz them on the research that you have carried out personally if you are unsure of anything in particular.
Make sure you know your CV. Review the job description provided by the consultant and ensure that your technical and regulatory knowledge is up to date and relevant. Your goal during the interview is to present a professional image whilst discussing your achievements, skills, expertise, knowledge and showcasing your personality. It’s a tall order, and being able to discuss your CV fluently without having to refer to the document itself will aid you enormously.
Prepare your own interview questions
You will of course be aiming to ask questions at the end of the interview, and the company research you have carried out and your conversation with your consultant will give you the grounding on which to base these and showcase your acumen. Aim for at least four or five written down, just in case the interview covers one or two during your conversation. We do recommend that you try to maintain a positive rather than negative line of questioning, and don’t be reticent in drawing out your interviewer.. Do not ask questions about the salary or benefits package, as this will only be relevant at the offer stage, and your Consultant will enter into such discussions on your behalf.
Example questions you may wish to ask:
- Can you tell me more about the company?
- What are the company’s plans for the future?
- What would my day-to-day responsibilities be?
- How does this role fit into the department/organisation?
- What are you looking for in the first 6 months from this appointment?
- What learning and development opportunities does this company offer?
- Is there scope for promotion in the future?
- What do you think are the best things about working for this company?
- How many people are you seeing for this role?
- What is the next stage in the recruitment process, and when can I expect to hear?
On the day
Ensure you know where you are going and plan your route
Always wear business attire, even if the company has a casual dress policy.
If you smoke, do not to smoke just before you go in to your interview.
Be polite to everyone that you meet at the client’s premises
When introduced to your interviewer, smile and give them a firm handshake.
Thank the interviewer for their time and if you are still interested in the job, make sure you let them know this, and that you look forward to hearing from them. Once away from the company premises, call your consultant and let them know how the interview went.