A few pointers when preparing for that big interview

Your interview is your chance to shine. This is where you can really sell yourself so it’s important to be prepared. Although no interview follows the same pattern, we’ve designed this guide to give you some basic advice when preparing for an interview.  

BASIC TIPS

Don’t turn up late

This sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised how many people still turn up late for interviews. Turning up late instantly puts you on the back foot so make sure you leave plenty of travel time, you’re fully aware of the location, where to park, where to sign in and who you should ask for at reception.  

Look presentable

Try to get a feel for the company culture and dress appropriately. Many interviewers will take note of your appearance so make sure you dress to impress!  

Do plenty of research beforehand

Preparation is key to a successful interview. Solid People will provide you with detailed information about the company, however, your research should not be limited to this. Visit the company’s website and look for recent news articles and press releases. You should be knowledgeable about the company’s history, product, structure and industries they serve.  

Just relax and be yourself

This is sometimes easier said than done. It’s important that your personality comes through in your interview so try to control the nerves and just be yourself.  

Ask questions

An interview is as much your opportunity to suss out whether the job is right for you as it is the employers opportunity to assess your skills. Make sure you ask all the questions that are important to you.  

How have I done?

It’s not a bad thing to ask the interviewer how you’ve done. This can show enthusiasm and keenness if approached in the right way. It’s also a good idea to ask what the next steps are and when will you hear from them. If you’re keen to progress then it’s important you tell them.  

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

When attending an interview, it’s likely you’ll be asked competency based questions. Don’t be tempted to ‘wing it’! We’ve worked with many candidates who’ve used this approach and it’s risky; as the saying goes ‘Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail’. As such we’ve compiled a list of example competency based questions you should be ready for:  

  • Has there ever been a time when you had to face criticism from people. How did you deal with it?
  • Have you ever worked alongside a colleague not doing their job? How did you deal with it?
  • Have you ever encountered conflict in your team? How did you deal with it?
  • Have you ever been faced with the likelihood of missing a key deadline? How did you deal with it?
  • Have you ever had to train or coach someone, or help them solve a problem? Describe your actions?
  • Describe a situation where you were especially proud of what you/your team achieved. What was your role in it?
  • Explain a situation where you had to deal with tough resistance to a project?
  • Give an example of a challenge you faced in the workplace. How did you overcome it?
  • Tell me a time when your communication skills improved a situation?  

Negative Comments

  • Don’t talk negatively about a colleague, member of staff or any of your previous companies
  • Don’t pass the blame for failure onto team members or the company
  • Don’t be critical of colleagues or managers
  • Don’t show lack of confidence
  • Don’t show resistance to change Show support for your team
  • Show compassion but also integrity
  • Show loyalty and allegiance to your company
  • Always be positive about your ability to deal with issues
  • Show patience and understanding when dealing with members of staff
  • Always sell yourself and your ability in a business-like manner showing humility but confidence not arrogance  

For further examples of typical competency based interview questions fire up GOOGLE

THOSE INTERVIEW QUESTION THAT STILL POP UP ALL THE TIME

If you've attended multiple interviews you'll be familiar with some of the below questions. They're still being asked so you still need to prepare for them

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What do you know about us?
  • What did you like / dislike about your previous job?

Keep an eye on our blog as we'll be sharing our thoughts on how best to answer some of these typical interview questions.

FINAL TIPS

  • Be positive
  • Sell yourself
  • Show confidence as well as humility
  • Don’t give one-word answers.
  • Give examples where possible.
  • Always give eye contact
  • Think about what your strengths and weaknesses are
  • Think of a reason why you want the job
  • Think of a reason why they should give you the job
  • Think of a reason why you feel you deserve the job
  • Be positive about your ambitions and aspirations
  • If you are interested in the role, make sure you tell them, and give the reasons for your interest. Also explain what value you feel you could add to the department

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