Interview Preparation

by Heat Recruitment

THE BASICS

Before your interview, make sure you know the following

  1. The exact time and location of your interview, transport options, parking and how long it will take to get there.
  2. The interviewer’s correct title and pronunciation of his or her full name.
  3. Company facts – including its history, financial position, mission, markets, competitors, latest news etc. The company’s website is often an excellent source for this information. If you know the name of your interviewer(s) it is well worth looking them up as well; it can only impress if you mention an article they have written or had written about them.
  4. Facts and figures about your present or former employer. Refresh your memory – you will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Ensure that you have made a note of the time and place of the interview, along with the name of your interviewer(s).

We will provide you with as much information as possible on your future employer but you are well advised to seek out available company literature, such as an annual report. Go to your nearest reference library, read the trade press, look on the internet or contact people you know in the industry.

PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS

Make a list of possible questions you might be asked and prepare your answers

  • Your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Breakdown the specific duties in your current role.
  • Past Achievements – work related and personal.
  • Reasons for leaving your current position – do not be negative!
  • Which aspects of the potential job appeal to you the most!

PREPARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK AT THE INTERVIEW

  • What goals do the company have?
  • Where do they expect to be in five years time?
  • How will this role develop?
  • Who are the company’s direct competitors?

MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION

First impressions are important especially if your potential position involves a degree of face to face communication with management.

Take time to get your best suit dry cleaned and make sure your shoes are clean and your hair is tidy.

The Interview

YOUR PRESENTATION

Try and be original – discuss points raised in their literature or in editorial you may have read in newspapers or in the trade press.

Being late is inexcusable. Plan your journey in advance and give yourself plenty of time to overcome the hazards of train delays and traffic jams.

If you are delayed, telephone your Heat Recruitment Consultant with your estimated time of arrival.

PRESENTATION IS THE KEY. LOOK GOOD – FEEL GOOD

  • Creating a good rapport is important. Greet your interviewer(s) by name, with a smile and a firm hand shake. Throughout the interview maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s), watch your posture and let your personality shine through.
  • do not waffle or avoid difficult questions. When you are asked questions, remember that this is an opportunity to sell yourself. Try not to give “yes” or “no” replies. Know your CV – Dates etc.
  • Remember to ask the questions you prepared before the interview. If the interview is not going well, do not be put off, some interviewers use this as a test!
  • Do not ask about salary, holidays or benefits at first interview stage.
  • If you are interested in the job, make sure you let the interviewer(s) know before you leave by stating why you like the role and thank the interviewer(s) for their time. If you feel confident then ask if the interviewer thinks you are capable of the role and if you will be considered for a second interview.
  • Be prepared! Occasionally clients may surprise us and offer you the position at the first interview. If you are happy with the details feel free to accept the offer. However, do not feel obliged to accept there and then if you feel uncomfortable – speak to us first.
  • Review your own performance – did you answer questions correctly, did you let your personality shine through?

GETTING THE INTERVIEW RIGHT…

  • First impressions count! Employers are more often than not besieged with applications and CV’s for particular roles, and a first impression is crucial if you want to stand out from the rest.
  • No matter how many interviews you’ve been through, they are nerve-racking and stressful experiences. The best way to reduce stress is preparation. The more prepared you are the less nervous you will be.

DRESS

First impressions have a real bearing on an employer’s perceptions. Always dress like a professional, in a smart suit, with a clean, ironed shirt and tie (or blouse) and freshly polished dark shoes. Do not wear casual clothes even if you know that it is company policy. Aim for a neutral rather than flamboyant look.

REVIEW YOUR CV AND THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Ensure you are equipped to answer questions on the details you have supplied. Be ready to use pertinent examples from your career or personal competencies. Also review the job description and core competencies of the role. Examine your suitability and prepare specific examples before the interview.

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER

Remember that an interview is a two-way street. You should take the opportunity to ask questions to determine whether a potential employer will provide the career challenges you seek.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

  • Contact your Heat Recruitment Consultant immediately with your interview feedback. We cannot contact the client until we know your views.
  • Do not despair if you do not get the job. Treat every interview as experience. Remember that practice makes perfect.

SOME GENERAL HINTS & TIPS

1. Make the right first impression. 2. Arrive a few minutes early. Give yourself a buffer. Late arrival is inexcusable. 3. Greet the interviewer and thank them for their time. Smile, appear friendly.

BODY LANGUAGE

  1. Shake hands firmly.
  2. Sit upright in your chair and look interested at all times.
  3. Try to put on your best performance by demonstrating your interpersonal skills during the interview.
  4. Be a good listener – actively listen to the question and answer it – as well as a good talker.
  5. Smile and maintain eye contact.

MARKETING YOURSELF

Describe your accomplishments and how you feel they could apply to the prospective role.

Always conduct yourself as though you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity.

Avoid enquiring about salary, holidays and bonuses at the initial interview unless you are positive the interviewer wants to hire you. You should, however, know your market worth and be prepared to specify your required salary and salary range.

CLOSING THE INTERVIEW

If you are interested in the position, enquire about the next interview stage. If the interviewer offers the position and you want it, accept it. If you wish some time to think over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time. Set a definite date by which you can provide an answer, and then get back to them earlier. Do not be discouraged if no offer is made nor a specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to consult colleagues or interview other candidates before making a decision.

FINALLY

Thank the interviewer for their time. If you are asked back for a 2nd interview, be prepared to answer further questions about yourself and your CV.

If at any point in the recruitment process you require any advice or support, you can always contact your Heat Recruitment Consultant on Tel:

0345 375 1747