Interview Preparation

Social Media Clean Up:

  • Delete your own questionable posts and pictures
  • Choose a professional profile picture
  • Don’t talk about work on social media
  • Update your information on Facebook
  • Update your LinkedIn
  • Keep your Twitter feed interesting

Interview Do’s & Don’ts

  • Arrive on time, plan your route. Don’t be late
  • Select a suitable outfit, no casual clothes. If you do not own a suit ensure you look smart and presentable
  • SMILE! Shake hands firmly – create a good first impression
  • Make sure you know the interviewers’ full name and title – research your interviewers on LinkedIn
  • Be a good listener as well as a good talker – never interrupt as your interpersonal skills are being assessed
  • Research the company thoroughly – look beyond the ‘About Us’ section of their website
  • Be aware of topical issues affecting the company in the news
  • Maintain good eye contact; you will look more confident and interested
  • Never answer a question with a solitary ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Always give examples
  • Do not mention SALARY or BONUSES in the interview unless prompted to do so
  • Remember to thank them for their time when leaving, including the Receptionist
  • Don’t be too familiar – set a professional tone
  • Take your CV with you – ask your Consultant for a copy
  • Switch your mobile phone off

Questions for your Interviewers

  • What training and development opportunities can this role offer?
  • How many are in the team and how would you describe the dynamics?
  • What challenges could I face in the first three months?
  • How many others are you interviewing and what is the next step in the interview process?
  • When are you ideally looking to make a decision by/have someone start?

Competency Based Interviews

A competency-based interview is used to demonstrate certain behaviours/skills in the work place; it allows you to really talk in-depth about your past experiences and demonstrate your ability based on the criteria of the role. Note down any examples you can think of when you have put these competencies into practice; these examples could come from current or previous jobs; university, voluntary work, study at school or personal experiences. The focus should be on you, even if the situation involved a group

Example Interview Questions

  • Why do you want this job?
  • How does your experience match the requirements of the role?
  • What would you say are your main strengths?
  • Give me an example of when you have been a good team player and what was your input?
  • Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer?
  • Think of a difficult situation in the workplace that you were involved in. How did you deal with this situation to a successful outcome?
  • What have you achieved within your career to date that you are particularly proud of?
  • Where can you see yourself in the next year? And even the next 3 years?
  • What is the greatest challenge you have faced to date?
  • Give me an example of a time where you have had to communicate difficult information?
  • Tell me about a time when you were working on a piece of work where the priorities changed? How did you handle the situation?
  • Discuss a situation where you contributed towards improvements within the workplace
  • Tell me about yourself

Potentially Tricky Questions & Answers

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

Briefly outline recent personal and professional experiences (relating to the position where possible). Take the interviewer through key job moves and add any major achievements. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you like to do outside of work – where appropriate

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE LAST COMPANY YOU WORKED FOR?

Stay neutral or positive, no negatives. Focus on what you learned

YOU APPEAR TO HAVE CHANGED YOUR JOB FREQUENTLY – ARE YOU A JOB HOPPER?

Work out in advance your rationale for your moves. People do change jobs, and if your reasons are sound, say so. Avoid: Did not get along with boss, did not like management policies, passed over for salary increase, too many arguments, too much overtime or personal problems interfering with work

WHAT SALARY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Don’t volunteer information about your past salary unless pressed. Ensure you have clarified the salary of the role with your Consultant beforehand

WHAT WERE YOU EARNING IN YOUR LAST JOB?

If this matter is pressed then honesty is the best policy but perhaps highlight that money is not the key motivator

CAN YOU WORK UNDER PRESSURE?

Indicate that you can, then counter: “How much pressure is involved in this position?” If you thrive under pressure give a few examples

WHAT WERE YOUR REASONS FOR LEAVING YOUR LAST JOB?

You must prepare for this question, it is almost certain to come up. Don’t be negative about your former employer. The interviewer is trying to decipher whether you left for good reasons. Focus on results “Having successfully achieved …… I’m ready for a new challenge”

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

Good examples include: job interest, opportunity, personal growth, company ethics, chance to learn or work for a company who has world class products and reputation

WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE TO DO?

First of all, you won’t get away with saying ‘nothing at all’. Everybody has some aspects of their work that they like less than other parts. Ensure your answer does not have a conflict of interest with the role you are applying for

WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

Interviewers don’t expect you to be perfect. Turn this question on its head and present a personal weakness as a professional strength e.g. ‘I can get frustrated when people don’t share my enthusiasm but this is only because I’m passionate about the work I do’. Another way of answering is to identify an area where you’re currently seeking improvement and what steps you’re taking e.g. ‘I’m not so savvy on MS Excel so have signed up to a short course’