Once your CV has done its’ job and got you the interview, there are a few simple guidelines that will enhance your chances of success.
We will always try to let you know the format of the interview in plenty of time, as well as the names and titles of who you will be meeting. A competency based interview is very different to an assessment centre or more informal CV based discussion and we want you to be as prepared as possible.
It is important that you know what is on your CV and can justify what you have written. Take a copy with you, as well as any qualification certificates and a form of personal ID (eg passport) which demonstrates your right to work in the EU. Mention that you have brought these if required.
Ensure that you have read the role profile and done your background research on the company too, be ready to tell the company why you want to work for them. Think about how your experience matches what they are looking for, and answer questions personally for this role.
We will always advise it a company has a particular dress code, but otherwise “dress to impress”. A sensible, sober suit tends to go down well and we would always say to avoid loud ties and socks – you want to make a professional first impression.
Arrive ON TIME
This should be obvious, but sometimes candidates simply don’t build enough time into the journey to navigate busy and unfamiliar roads. We would advise you to always plan your route, do a practise drive if you can to ensure you know where you are going. A print out of directions is always advisable too, in case your trusty sat-nav runs out of battery or there is no satellite coverage.
In case of unforeseeable delays on the day make sure that you have a contact number for the company or for us, it is always better to call ahead as this may mean that the meeting could be rescheduled.
The first few minutes of an interview are vital in creating the right impression, so try to be enthusiastic and attentive. Engage with the interviewer both verbally and with strong eye contact, and of course listen carefully to what is being asked.
Ensure that your answers, whilst polite and confident, are succinct and factual. Measure your response to questions, especially open questions such as “talk me through your career”, and remember that there is a lot of ground to cover in what is generally a set time so every minute matters. If you aren’t sure you have covered something in enough detail you can always ask “would you like to me expand on that?” This is a useful follow up which helps the interviewer retain control.
It is always worth remembering that the interview is about YOU personally, and it is YOUR achievements that an interviewer will want to hear about. You may well have been part of a team, but you are the only one being assessed and over use of the royal ‘we’ is not what an interviewer is looking for.
If candidates enjoy an interview and give enthusiastic feedback it can be influential in determining the final decision. As such, do give us a call afterwards and let us know how much you liked it and how eager you are for the role, as we will happily pass this information on to the company.
So, good luck at your interview!! Prepare well, try and stay relaxed and be confident in yourself and your experience. There is a reason they have asked to meet you.