Interview research: make sure you do some research on the company prior to interview. All interviewers will ask what you know about their business so this is a crucial part so show your genuine interest. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
Information in the public domain: review the company website and read up on the ‘About Us’, research the key people in the business (LinkedIn can be helpful), their competitors and latest news.
Talk to your consultant: your consultant will talk you through the details of the company and interview prior to your interview. A good consultant will also have inside knowledge that you won’t be able to find online.
Know yourself: make sure you know your CV well and that everything is up to date
Prepare your own interview questions: aim to take at least 4 or 5 questions to ask at the end of the interview. Do not ask questions about the salary or benefits package, as this will only be relevant at the offer stage.
Print outs: always take a print out of your CV, the job spec, a notepad and pen to take notes on throughout the interview. Have questions written down on to ask.
On the day
· Ensure you know where you are going and plan your route.
· Always wear business attire.
· 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.
Example Interview Questions & Answers
Q. Why did you leave your last job?
A. You felt your career prospects and progression could go no further and you need a challenge where your potential can be exploited.
Q. Do you get on with your current Manager?
A. I have a good relationship with my boss; he/she is not the reason I'm looking to move.
Q. Do you think your boss is a good Manager?
A. I have never had any problems with the management expertise of my boss and as already mentioned he/she is not the reason I'm looking for another job.
Q. What do you think of your current job? / Why do you want to leave?
A. As a company they are fine but I do not think they can match my ambitions with the possible opportunities offered and now is a right time for me to move on.
Q. How long would you stay with us?
A. I see this as a long-term career move.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
A. At the moment in five years time I can see myself progressing along my chosen path and currently I would like to progress into a managerial role. But, if in two to three year's time a better, more suitable opportunity shows itself, then I would give it my consideration.
Q. What are your greatest strengths?
A. My greatest strengths are threefold: -
· To be able to recognise my weaknesses
· I have the ability to pick up procedures quickly
· An excellent temperament which means I don't get rattled easily
Q. What are your greatest weaknesses?
A. Some people have said my natural enthusiasm is a weakness, but I found my administration skills were weak. However I have recognised this and come to terms with it. Consequently, it is no longer a major problem.
Q. Why should we offer you the position?
A. I've listened very carefully to what you've told me about the position and on that basis I'm confident that I could do the job as well as, if not better than, the others you have seen.
Q. What interests you most about the position on offer?
A. The career prospects, job content, work environment, day-to-day duties, etc.
Other likely questions
Below are some other questions that you may be asked at interview. The responses depend entirely on your personal experiences. It is worth bearing these in mind when preparing to meet a prospective employer:
· What kind of people do you find most difficult to work with? Why?
· What do you feel you have done particularly well in your last job?
· In what areas have you achieved the greatest success?
· Why do you think this is?
· In your last job, did you find anything particularly difficult?
· What would you consider to be your greatest achievement in your career to date?
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 immediately after to let them know how the interview went.