Interview Guidance

Interview Guidance


Interviews can be stressful but remembering some key DO’s and DON’TS will help alleviate some pressure. Technical skills are important and your CV skills and achievements will undoubtedly, with a few favourable words from your recruitment consultant, have got you through the interviewer’s door. However, candidates frequently fall down at interview stage, when your presentation, interpersonal and professional skills are under scrutiny.

Seemingly small things make a big difference. Not doing your research on the business you have potentially come to work for is a sure fire way of irritating your interviewer, always be prepared. Arriving late really can make the difference between you and the next interviewee securing the all-important second interview, as can how polite you are to the receptionist or person that leads you into the interview room. An unexpected test can be stressful but it is often how positively or negatively you respond to the challenge, rather than the actual test results, that can sway the balance.

We have compiled a few DO’S and DON’TS; they may seem obvious but they are always a good reminder. You would be surprised how many job seekers forget at least one of these!

  • DO your research! Thoroughly read their website and LinkedIn pages.  
  • DO know the exact place and time of the interview; plan your journey and parking arrangements.
  • DO have small change for parking.
  • DO remember the interviewer’s full name and position at the company.
  • DO fill out any additional forms or tests neatly, completely and positively. 
  • DO Smile! Shake hands positively and look your interviewer in the eye.
  • DO remember you are ‘on show’ to everyone! Smile and be polite to everyone you encounter.
  • DO study the job spec and make notes of where and when you have experience of each duty and any relevant achievements that will make you stand out. Make your experiences relevant to the job in front of you.
  • DO look smart. It sounds obvious but employers always comment if someone is not smart enough and never if they are too smart!
  • DO listen carefully when the employer describes the position and expands the written job spec, relate relevant skills and achievements to show you have researched and listened.
  • DO always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing, even if you feel it’s not perfect, the interviewer may have a second role that could be perfect, never close any doors.
  • DO leave the interviewer with the impression you are positive about the company and the job.
  • DO keep in touch with your recruitment consultant at all stages. They will tell the client how positive you were and how quickly you relayed your feedback. Clients like keenness and positivity!
  • DON’T panic! Always react positively to any curve balls – like unexpected technical, IT or personality tests or unexpected line mangers dropping in to the interview.
  • DON’T be late! Give yourself extra time for any delays.
  • DON’T be negative about present or any former employers/ line managers or companies. Prepare your reasons for leaving before you get there.
  • DON’T bring up salary and or benefits at first interview.  
  • DON’T ‘over answer’ questions. Keep it relevant succinct and to the point.
  • DON’T rush the end of the interview. Ensure you are not under time pressure at the end of your meeting.

Possible Interview Questions

  1. Why did you choose this particular opportunity?
  2. Why do you think you might like to work for our company?
  3. What do you know about our company?
  4. What qualifications do you have that makes you feel you will be successful in your field?
  5. What do you think determines a person’s progress in a good company?
  6. Can you get recommendations from previous employers?
  7. What contributions to profits have you made in your present or former position to justify your salary level?
  8. Can you take instructions without feeling upset?
  9. What is your major weakness?
  10. Are you willing to relocate?
  11. How do you spend your time?  What are your hobbies?
  12. What jobs have you enjoyed most?  The least?  Why?
  13. What are your special abilities?
  14. What types of people seem to rub you up the wrong way?
  15. Define Co-operation
  16. Do you like regular hours?
  17. What have you done which shows initiative and willingness to work?

Closing the Interview

If you are interested in the position then make sure the interviewer is aware of this.

Thank the employer for their time and their consideration of you.  If you have answered the two questions uppermost in the employer’s mind:

  1. Why are you interested in this company? and 
  2. What can you offer? 

..then you have done all you can!

Lastly, call your consultant immediately after each interview and tell him/her what happened. The Consultant will want to talk with you before the employer calls him/her back.  If you are interested in the position the Consultant will help you get it. 

If You Don’t Get the Job….

It’s always important in a job search to make the most of any failure, they happen to everyone at some point…

There may be a justifiable reason why you weren’t offered the job –Ensure your consultant obtains detailed feedback for you in order to analyse where you went wrong and correct it for next time. There will be other opportunities and with this experience behind you, you will probably interview better the next time.