Interview Tips

How to Dress for your Interview
We would always suggest you are in smart business dress for an interview (unless otherwise stated), no matter what the working environment is like.

Doing your homework on your new potential employer is key to ensuring you come across in a positive way. This will give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are enthusiastic on working for the company long term rather than just looking for a job.

Knowing Your CV
Taking the time to re-read through your CV and being prepared for any questions that might be sparked from reading it is vital.
Questions might be asked around the following:
· Your day to day responsibilities
· Any duties you undertook beyond the job description
· Successes and achievements
· Targets you worked towards and how you achieved against them
· The size and dynamics of the team you worked within
· Any challenges you faced and how you overcame them
· Reasons for leaving
· Take along any physical evidence of previous performance or supporting information to back up your credibility

It is vital to show that you are confident without coming across as overconfident. Giving a great first impression is key. Research suggests that hiring managers form either a positive or negative opinion of job candidates within just 10 minutes. Make eye contact with the interviewer and try to build a rapport whilst giving a professional impression. Make sure your body language is open and positive and remember to smile.

How to Answer Curveball Questions
When it comes to challenging questions, a common belief is that interviewers aren’t looking for you to necessarily have the right answer—they simply want to see how you articulate your thought process.
The interviewer may be looking for you to demonstrate communication skills, problem solving skills, breadth of knowledge, willingness to get “stuck in” to find a solution and your willingness to listen and take feedback.

Some example curveball questions may be:
· Would you rather be liked or feared?
· If you could be any kind of animal, what would it be?
· What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Competency Based Interviews
It would be fair to say that all of us have at some time been caught off guard with a question at an interview!

The purpose of a competency based interview is to practically test how candidates would react in certain situations. These questions typically require the candidate to demonstrate that they have the right skills for a role by giving examples of previous experience.

Some key competencies include:
· Teamwork
· Responsibility
· Communication skills
· Decision making
· Leadership
· Problem-solving
· Organisation
· Goal orientation

Preparation is key! Sometimes the competencies that an interviewer will formulate their questions against are stated on the job description.

Answering a competency based question in the right way involves using the STAR Technique
What is the Star Technique? Put simply, the STAR technique means giving a response to a question based on:
Situation: set the context for the story.
Task: what was required of you?
Action: what did you actually do?
Result: what was the outcome?

An example of this could be the interviewer asking: “Describe a time when you have gone above and beyond your current role duties,” or “Tell me about a time when you have effectively managed a project from inception to completion.”

Asking Questions
Preparing questions to ask your potential employer during an interview can confirm your qualifications as a candidate for the position.
It is also your opportunity to find out if this is an organisation you want to work for.

Examples of good questions to ask can be as follows:
· What are you looking for in your next employee?
· What have you enjoyed most about working here?
· When do you suspect you might be in a position to make a decision?
· How would you describe the company culture and management style?

At the end of an interview, remember to thank the interviewer for their time and state that you are very interested in being considered for the role (if you are of course!) and would love the opportunity to work there.