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21 Jan 2021

Interview Tips

You know that you are the best person for the job - you just need to convince the interviewer.  Stay calm, think clearly and don't let tricky questions or being under pressure put you off your stride. Think positive!

1. Preparation

  • Make sure you know exactly where the interview is taking place and the name and position of the person you are due to meet. 
  • Work out your route in advance and allow plenty of time in case of unforeseen circumstances. 
  • Have the telephone number of the company and/or that of the HTS Consultant who arranged it to hand so that you can let them know if you are running late - this is generally forgiven whereas unannounced lateness is not. 
  • Find out approximately how long the interview will take and arrange other appointments accordingly.

2. Research

  • Where possible, we include company information to help you prepare for your interview.  However, you may find that carrying out your own research will be most beneficial.  
  • Visit the company website and take notes. 
  • Read and memorise as much as possible about the company. 
  • Make sure you prepare intelligent questions based on your research (preferably not of the "How much holiday?" variety!)

3. Questions Asked

Interviewers tend to ask the same general questions in addition to those of a more technical nature, for example:

  • Why are you interested in this position? 
  • Tell me about your current role. 
  • What are the most satisfying/frustrating things about your current employment? 
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? 
  • Why do you think we should give you the job? 
  • Where do you see yourself in five-ten years time? (Answer is not ‘on a yacht’.) 

Prepare your answers, and practice them on friends or relations.  

4. Dress to Impress

  • If you look untidy for your interview, that is how you will be remembered - first impressions do count.  Men should always wear a suit and tie; women should dress smartly.  Ensure your outfit is clean and your shoes are sparkling.  And be sparing with your aftershave/perfume!  
  • Even if you are attending a second interview and know the company allows less formal work dress, maintain a formal approach
  • Foods like garlic etc should be avoided before an interview - it's not just visual impressions that last! 
  • Most importantly, be civilised, smile, and remember your manners.  Shake hands firmly with people you are introduced to and again when you leave. 

5. Attitude

  • Find the right tone in which to present your positive aspects.  You have to talk about your achievements to show you are the right person, but do this without being boastful
  • Do not run down your current employer - this is viewed as negative
  • Turn weaknesses into strengths.  For example "I sometimes find it hard to delegate but when I have, the results have been very positive" 
  • If you lack technical strength in a particular area don't try and bluff.  Tell the interviewer that you’re looking for a job that gives you scope to learn knew skills, and affirm your commitment to learning.
  • Be positive - don't wait until after the interview to decide you wish you had tried harder to get the position.  Always go to the interview with the intention of getting the job. 

6. Worthwhile Questions

Finally, if you are given the chance to ask questions, take it.  It's best to ask questions that fit naturally into the context of the interview as there is no benefit in asking previously prepared questions if the subject matter has already been covered. 

If inspiration fails you, here are some suggestions - 

  • What is the logical progression for this role, where can I expect to be if my performance is good? 
  • What are the future plans for the company and the department? 
  • What, in your opinion, are the major reasons why someone should join this company? 
  • What influenced you to join this company? 

Good Luck!


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