Congratulations on securing an interview opportunity! This is your chance to meet with a potential employer, demonstrate your skills, and secure an exciting job role. Preparation is key to success so we’ve put together some useful tips and pointers to help you prepare effectively for your interview. From creating a great first impression to answering questions confidently, we’ve got it covered. We also offer guidance to ensure you’re well-informed about the company, the role, and the interview format.
Our guide to job interviews
First impressions matter
Don’t forget to wear a smile and be friendly to everyone you meet!
No matter the company’s dress code, it’s a great idea to dress sharp and professional for your interview. This not only boosts your confidence but also shows your enthusiasm for the role and dedication to your work.
While dress codes can vary depending on the industry and job, our general advice for the positions we hire for is a well-fitted suit or smart attire for men, and smart trousers or a skirt paired with a classic shirt or top for women.
Above all, make sure your clothes are comfy and clean. Trying on your outfit beforehand can save you some last-minute stress on the big day.
The goal is to keep your look simple, professional, and presentable, allowing the interviewer to focus on your answers and personality without any distractions.
Remember to silence your phone to stay fully engaged during the interview. A buzzing phone can be distracting for both you and the interviewer.
By following these tips, you can make a positive first impression and set the stage for a successful interview.
Managing your online presence
Many potential employers take a peek at your social media profiles. It’s a good idea to keep a clear line between your personal and professional accounts on social media platforms. Don’t forget to run a quick online search of your name now and then to make sure your online presence reflects the professional image you want to project.
Remember, even on your personal accounts, what you share online is never entirely private. It’s wise to be mindful of what you post and consider the impression it may leave on potential employers. If you’re curious to learn more about managing your online presence, you can explore additional tips here.
Take a moment to think about why you’re on the hunt for a new job opportunity. Emphasise the positive aspects of your goals and aspirations, particularly how this new role aligns with them.
Before the interview, get well-acquainted with your CV. Be ready to chat about your work journey, highlighting the standout achievements and experiences that have shaped you.
If you have any gaps in your employment history, don’t fret. Approach them in a positive light by explaining how they’ve provided you with valuable insights and life experiences.
Researching the company
Before the interview, research the company to understand its size, history, industry, and values. The company’s website, particularly the ‘About Us’ section, is a valuable place to start. You would be surprised how many people forget to do this.
If available, review the ‘Careers’ section for insights into company culture and what it’s like to work at the company.
You can ask your recruitment specialist for additional information and specific details about the team, software used, and workplace culture.
Preparing for phone screenings
Phone screenings often kickstart the interview journey, and they’re just as important as face-to-face meetings. Find a quiet space with good signal reception to avoid distractions and interruptions. Ensure your phone is fully charged and have a pen and paper handy in case you want to jot down any notes during the conversation.
Speak clearly and confidently, and remember to smile; it can come through in your voice.
Your recruitment specialist is your go-to source for all the nitty-gritty details about the interview. They can fill you in on the interview format and information about the interviewer(s) so you know exactly what to expect.
Get prepared to tackle those typical questions about what draws you to the company and how you plan to make a meaningful impact in the role.
Some interviews may involve competency-based questions, assessments, or presentations. In competency-based interviews, use the STAR technique to structure your answers: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
“Describe a time where you have had to lead a team. Did you face any challenges?”
- S – In my last role, I was employed as team leader and had a team of 6 staff working for me.
- T – I inherited the team, and hadn’t established any relationships with my employees. In my first week, my manager asked me to put together a presentation for a big customer with my new team.
- A – I sat individually with each member of the team and asked them to tell me what areas they particularly enjoyed in their roles and got to know their motivations. Then I assigned tasks to each individual ensuring their contributions would use their skills and keep them motivated. Bob enjoyed research so he researched the customer, Carol enjoyed working with figures so she analysed the business’s spend, and Mark liked talking to customers so he delivered the presentation.
- R – The result was that no one felt their experience was overlooked, and so they all contributed well delivering a presentation that won us that client’s business. I got to know my team well during that exercise and got to see where their passion and skills lay, which gained me their respect and enabled me to lead them well in future projects.
This is an example of a client looking for a candidate looking to demonstrate good leadership skills; the applicant talked through the scenario well, and showed the client that they are a good leader, who forges good working relationships.
On the day
Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and reach the interview location. Take another peek at the job description, skim through your notes about the company, and review your CV.
Feeling a bit jittery is completely normal – most people do. So, relax, take a few deep breaths, and flash a genuine smile. Remember, the person on the other side of the table is rooting for your success.
As you leave the interview, don’t forget to express your appreciation and ask about what comes next in the process.
With the right preparation, you’ll boost your chances of leaving a lasting impression and finding that perfect fit.
Online interviews, conducted via platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, have their unique quirks, so let’s get you ready. First and foremost, familiarise yourself with the technology beforehand. Log in early to test your video and microphone functions, ensuring they work correctly.
Opt for a simple background to keep things distraction-free, and ensure you’re well-lit so that your friendly face shines through to the interviewer. Dress to impress, just as you would for an in-person chat.
Some individuals prefer to disable self-view, allowing them to see the interviewer but not their own video feed on the screen. It’s like replicating an in-person interview, without the self-consciousness.You can find guides on how to do this online.
Make sure you have a strong internet connection to prevent disruptions during the interview. Have a pen and paper handy in case you want to take notes during the conversation; this also looks professional in the video.
Despite thorough preparation, there are times when technology throws a curveball with shaky internet or audio issues. In such situations, stay composed and promptly communicate any problems you encounter. Don’t hesitate to politely request the interviewer to repeat questions if necessary.
By being well-prepared, you can present yourself confidently and make a positive impression in online interviews.
Ready for your interview?
While these tips cannot guarantee success, they’re here to help you put your best foot forward and make sure the role matches your aspirations. Good luck with your interview!
If you have any further questions or require additional assistance, feel free to contact us.