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Interview Preparation Part 1

Interview Preparation Part 1

over 5 years ago by Michael Carpenter

Canary Wharf

The word ‘interview’ is often viewed as synonymous with feeling of nervousness and anxiety however; we hope the following tips on preparing for your interview will make you a little more equipped with the necessary tools to beat the nerves, prepare and deliver a successful interview.

Here are our tips for Interview Preparation

Research the company

It is absolutely crucial that you know your stuff when it comes to interview day. By knowing what products and services the business sells or offers, the market it trades in and having an idea of its overall strategy, you are already demonstrating that you are interested in the job and have a willingness to learn. Make the effort to look through the company’s website and seek out your interviewers on LinkedIn. This will ensure that on the day you have a perfectly clear idea of what you are interviewing for and who you are interviewing with. (Print off a couple of pages so that when you open your note book in interview- the client will see physical evidence across the table you are taking this seriously)

Research is a two-way street

In the same way that you should research the company, fully expect that they will do the same. Ensure that your social media profiles have the appropriate privacy settings on them and ensure that your LinkedIn is up to date and professional.

Discuss the role fully with your Recruiter

One of the benefits of working with a professional recruitment firm like Palmer McCarthy is that your consultant will know the client and the individuals taking part in the interview.  Listen to what your recruiter has to say about questions that will come up, likes and dislikes of the interviewer and make sure you know what skills and attributes your recruiter highlighted to get you the interview.

Know the format of the interview

Make sure your recruiter explains the nature of the interview, so you are not daunted or surprised.  A half hour chat with a Recruiting Manager in the site canteen is a different prospect to a panel interview with the MD, HR Director and your potential line manager

Know the dress code

After researching the company, you should have a fairly good idea of how formal the office might be. Use this information and the description of the specific role you are applying for, to determine what outfit would be most appropriate for the job interview.

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as being overdressed. If a company operates a policy of smart/casual and you arrive in a formal suit, they may get the impression that you are the wrong fit for the company and its ethos. However, if you are unsure go for smart rather than casual.

Practice, practice, practice

Like with anything, practice makes perfect. Take time to stand in front of a mirror and visualise yourself in the interview room. Know your CV and practice elaborating on the skills, qualities and examples that you have listed. Always be prepared to provide three or four different examples or situations that will prove a particular skill set.

Prepare for standard questions

These are the ones that always come up:

  • Relevant experience to the role;
  • Previous successes in professional career;
  • Reasons for Leaving previous employers;
  • What will you introduce to the role applying for; and
  • Why you think most suited for the role
  • What motivates you
  • Evidence of the above

Know your route

We know it may sound obvious, but it is absolutely vital that you know where you are going. What with the nerves and stress of interview day, the last thing that you want is to get lost. This is even more important if you plan to take public transport; always have a couple of back up routes in case the one you planned is delayed or cancelled. If you are running late, phone ahead to warn your interviewer so they aren’t surprised when you aren’t there at your agreed time.

Prepare your questions (in the note pad you will take into the interview)

Your research should have allowed you to think about some pertinent questions to the role and company but some generic questions which are always relevant are: priorities for the role, what are people doing now that have does this role in the past, anything they would want you to start thinking about now, what training will be available, what do they see the first 4 weeks looking like, what are the measurements of success in the role.

Just make sure you have at least 2 at the end of the interview to ask- when asking do you have any questions, an interviewer is unlikely to feel flattered or satisfied with the usual “no I think you have covered everything” response.  Even if you honestly have nothing in the bag to ask- simply ask for some detail and clarification on one of the above that they may have covered.

Be ready to discuss your salary expectations:

First interview etiquette suggests that candidates should not ask about package, benefits etc but the client might ask you.  Be ready to explain what salary you are looking to achieve (not necessarily the same that you are on) and also know your notice period.

For more hints & tips on how to smash that interview please visit