Preparing for your Interview
Only a few people really enjoy job interviews; for most they are nerve-wracking events at best and a minefield of difficult questions designed to trip you up at worst. However – we have taken at least some of the pain out of the process, and put together a guide to giving a successful interview.
do your research. The more you know about the job and the company the better. Try looking at the company’s website for case studies, use websites like www.hoovers.co.uk to check on the company’s background, sales figures and who their competition is. Do not be afraid to take notes in with you and make notes during the interview.
BE PUNCTUAL –
it’s better to be half an hour early than a minute late.
Dress for the interview and also remember to bring your prep work with you, a folder with some info on the company and your questions for them. This proves you are prepared and that you have put some work into the interview.
The killer questions:
When faced with a difficult question, don’t panic. Challenging questions will allow the interviewer to see how you can think on your feet and cope with stress. Here are some important hints and tips on what to do:
- Faced with a difficult question, there is nothing wrong with a brief contemplative pause before answering
- Seek the opportunity to turn the question around and sell yourself, focusing on the company’s needs and your abilities
- Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you don’t understand it – try to determine what the interviewer is looking to find out
- Remember the interview is a two-way process, you are there to demonstrate your ability not only to speak out but also to listen
- Try not to stray from the point, offer relevant information to the question
- Always offer positive information
There are certain stock questions that are likely to come up in any interview. Here, we’ve listed the most common ones with hot tips on how to respond:
Tell me about yourself:
This is a good chance to impress an employer, but it is a deceptively simple question that can have a variety of answers. The employer is really interested in how you would fit into the company, so keep your answers as pertinent to the company and its work as possible.
Why do you want this job?
The employer wants to know that you are genuinely interested in the company, and not just looking for something to tick you over for a few months. Say that you view the position as your natural next step. Demonstrate your knowledge and make all that research you have done worthwhile.
Why should we offer you this job?
You need to show how you can add new skills or ideas to the job. You could try thinking about the industry, and how your past experience and unique abilities could benefit the company.
What’s been your biggest success at work?
The interviewer wants to see that you can use your initiative. Talk about your own achievements rather than how you helped someone else achieve. Perhaps you had a difficult goal you had to reach? Think about how you handled meeting that goal. It is a good idea to think in advance of a few key moments from past jobs that demonstrate how well you handle different situations.
Why did you choose this career path?
This question is particularly pertinent if you are changing job or sector. You need to convince the interviewer that you have a clear idea of the industry and your value. To make the employer understand how you could fit in, talk about the transferable skills you have picked up over the course of your career. Also stress what aspects of their industry are attractive to you.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Although it is difficult to predict things far into the future, the employer will want to hire somebody with drive and a sense of purpose. They will also want to know they can depend on you, and figure out if they can offer what you really want. Avoid choosing specific job titles you aspire to, instead mention skills and responsibilities you would like to take on.
What is your current salary and how much are you expecting?
When you talk about your current salary include the whole package with any perks such as car, pension, interest free loans and bonuses. Don’t suggest you are earning far more than you are, it is easy to check. Make sure you know the salary range for similar jobs and professions by checking in publications, or contact a specialist Andbridge Associates consultant. You could try putting the onus on the interviewer to make the first suggestion by asking how much they are prepared to pay the best candidate. You then have a negotiating point.
End of Interview Questions:
At the end of every interview you are usually asked if you have any questions. Most people are so relieved at getting through the interview that they don’t ask anything and leave. Ideally you should write down and bring with you 5 questions to ask about the company, the team you will be working in etc.
This not only provides you with a better insight into the way the company is run but also proves to the interviewer that you have done some research and put effort into the interview which shows you want the job.