I am sure you have been interviewed plenty of times in the past and by now probably consider yourself somewhat of an expert. The following tips are all common sense but you would be surprised how often they are overlooked!
- Know who will be talking to and their position in the company. Will this person be your line manager if you get the job? Read this person’s profile on LinkedIn. Perhaps you have some interests outside work in common that will help you build a rapport.
- Know the company. Check out their website, Google news and talk to us about any insights we can provide.
- Know the role. Nothing kills an interview faster than not being able to answer the question, “in your words, what is it that you think we do?” Understand the job specification thoroughly and be prepared to answer questions relating to your experience and expertise against all the role requirements. Prepare specific examples of work that you have done that covers off these requirements.
- Prepare a list of three or four key aspects of your experience and expertise that you think is most pertinent to the job. Make sure you incorporate these into your answers to the questions you are asked.
- Know where the interview will be and how you will get there. Leave plenty of time in case of delays. Take with you the interviewer’s telephone number so you can let them know if you will be late.
Questions you might be asked
Prepare answers in advance to all the typical questions interviewers ask. Here is a short list of common questions, but also think about questions you have been asked in the past that in hindsight you think you could have answered more effectively. There is no need to ‘think on feet’ for these questions. Prepare in advance because you will definitely be asked at least one of these questions.
- What are your key strengths / accomplishments? They should relate to the position for which you applied.
- What are your weaknesses? You should explain how you learned from them.
- What would bring to the job that others wouldn’t?
- Where do you see yourself in three/five years’ time?
- Why are you looking for new job?
- Why do want to work for us? / What attracted you to this role?
- Why did you leave such-and-such company? Be ready to explain each change of jobs you have had.
- Be ready to explain any career breaks you may have had.
- What was the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
- If we asked a close member of your team to describe you, what would they say?
- If we asked you line manager to describe you, what would they say?
- A quick Google search will give you many more ‘standard’ interview questions and techniques.
Questions to ask the interviewer
- Think of some questions in advance.
- Ask questions that will allow you to describe the key aspects of your experience and expertise you want to get across to the interviewer.
- Ask if your experience and expertise is what they are looking for. Ask if there is anything missing from your experience and expertise that they require for the role. This will give you the opportunity to explain any additional experience and expertise you have that is important to the role but has not been discussed. It might also correct any misunderstandings the interviewer has before it is too late!
Please ask us if you want some help to prepare for the interview, and let us know how you think it went.