So you have beaten off your competition with a winning CV and now you’re in for the first interview. Here are some pointers to get you started. Some of the information will seem like common sense, but we’re guessing you don’t attend interviews every day, so the list below is simply a reminder, as interview preparation is of paramount importance.
- Firstly, make sure you understand the company you are going to see. Have a thorough browse of the company website and collate more research from other sources.
- Carefully read through the job specification, relating your pre-existing skills set and thinking of specific examples to talk about when questioned.
- Prepare for standard questions such as ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’. Whilst relating your answers to the role –make sure that even the negative/weak comments end with a positive!
- Arrive 20-30 minutes early and at the interview location about 10 minutes before it is scheduled to start. There is nothing worse than turning up late!
- Every company has a dress code, ask your Specialist Consultant for advice as this varies – getting the image right is so important as first impressions count.
- Have a minimum of three of your own questions at the ready. This will demonstrate you have researched the company and are genuinely interested.
- Don’t worry if there’s a few seconds silence whilst you reflect on the questions you’re asked. This merely demonstrates that you’re focusing on what’s being discussed. In short, think rather than fill in gaps unnecessarily without any forethought.
- Answer the question at hand directly and then expand on your answer – don’t waffle.
- Don’t ask questions about salary, holiday and benefits at the first interview. Remuneration is important, but it shouldn’t be the only motivation to work for a company.
- Once the interview has ended, ask what the next stage of the process will be. If it’s a second interview, then try and sound them out about securing a date.
- Last but not least, if you’re enthusiastic about the role then say so in the interview! The candidate chosen will be the one who’s got the right skill set and shown the most interest.
Make sure you take with you:
- Recruitment Consultancy’s contact number – you never know what can happen to delay you.
- The interviewing Company’s address and a printed map of their location.
- The contact name of the interviewer.
- A hard copy of your CV – even though they will have one, it’s great to have in front of you so that you can talk through it confidently.
- The job specification or details of the role that has been provided to you.
- A copy of the projects / contracts you have worked on.