Top interview tips

Top interview tips

 14 Jan 2020

Having decided to find a new job, give yourself a head start by following our top tips for interview success:


Know the role you are going for

Most recruiters will send you a job specification, or you can usually access one online. Go through it and see if you can provide examples from your own experience and skills to tie in with their requirements – it will save you fumbling for answers in the interview or coming up with weak responses.


Practice, practice, practice

Go through your CV as if you were the interviewer, what would you ask? Jot down simple bullet point responses and practice your replies so that when you are in the interview you can recall the answers more easily.


Set the tone

Set the tone from the beginning of the interview – the first 30 seconds are crucial in creating the right impression. A firm handshake and a few friendly words of greeting eg “this is a good location/ nice building – how long have you been here? Thank you for seeing me, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you” etc., will set a positive tone and demonstrate your enthusiasm.


Take a moment

When you are asked a question, do make sure you listen to what is being asked. It is a common complaint that interviewees answer the question they think they are being asked. If necessary, pause and take stock for a moment to think about your answer. This is far better than rushing in with an inappropriate response and will demonstrate maturity even if you don’t get the answer spot on. 



Be active in the interview

This doesn’t mean that you have to go all out sales mode, but you don’t necessarily have to wait for the interviewer to ask the questions you want to be asked. Try to engineer opportunities to get across what skills you have that you think are relevant for the role. 


Show enthusiasm

Show enthusiasm for the organization through your research. Make sure you have looked at their website and any relevant press releases and mention it in the interview. Not “I looked at your website…” but something like “I saw that you have expanded into …. which is an area that I have started working in and would like the opportunity to develop further….” This is a far better way of showing them you have done your research, are interested in their organization and have relevant skills. 


And finally

Always have some questions to ask your interviewer at the end. This demonstrates an interest eg “Can you tell me about the structure of the team, what training do you provide, how will my performance be measured, what is the scope for promotion, what is the culture like, how do you see the firm/team developing over the next 5 years…” etc. But, never ask about salary or benefits.

No matter how badly you feel the interview has gone, always end with a positive handshake and something like “Thank you for seeing me, I look forward to hearing from you/it was good to meet you”.


Good luck and remember, an interview is a two-way conversation – it is as important for you to find the right fit as it is for the employer to find the right candidate. Often you might be right for the company but not right for that particular role. Even if you aren’t successful, you are building up a network and gaining valuable practice from each interview. 


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