Interview TIPS

Before the interview

  • Research the organisation - look at its website and read its latest annual report.
  • Research the sector - take a look at industry association websites and magazines to get a feel for the latest developments.
  • Prepare answers to the standard questions that form the basis of most interviews.
  • Be ready with a few questions for the interviewer. This shows you're keen and on the ball.
  • Check the format of the interview and find out who will be interviewing you - it could throw you if you unexpectedly have to face an interview panel of six people.
  • Make sure you dress appropriately.
  • Re-read your CV and application letter and take additional copies.
  • Plan your journey and check for any potential delays.

At the interview

You never get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

  • Get to your interview at least five minutes early. If you are going to be unavoidably delayed, make sure you let your interviewer know.
  • Always switch off your mobile phone before you enter the recruiter's building.

Trick Questions

Some interviewers try to provoke a reaction, often drawing candidates into an argument, or simply turning them into the proverbial rabbit in the headlights. Expect interviewers to throw a few trick questions your way. Some common ones include:

  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What would your colleagues say are your weaknesses?
  • Describe a situation when your work was criticised.

Key Points

The style of interviews varies dramatically, but here are a few key points to remember:

  • Be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet from the receptionist onwards - you never know who might have a say in your appointment.
  • Use positive body language.
  • When answering questions, relate parts of the job description to relevant experience on your CV.
  • Make the most of your research and quote it where appropriate.
  • If you face a panel interview, make sure you talk to everyone rather than directing your answers at one person.
  • Find out as much as you can about the job. For example, who would the employee report to; why is the situation vacant; and what are the promotion prospects?
  • Never mention salary unless prompted to do so - and even then try not to agree to specific numbers without being given time to think.
  • Always let the interviewer finish speaking before giving your response.
  • When the interview is over, remember to ask when you can expect to hear back and what the next stage will entail.

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Interview Tips

Your interview planning starts long before you take your seat in the interview room. You’ll need to research, prepare, and plan for that moment in the spotlight, because - as the saying goes - you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.

Read some key tips on what to do before and during the interview process:

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