What to wear
There is huge debate and discussion on how best to dress for an interview. Our Simple advices would be:
- Wear something you feel confident in.
- Ensure it is clean and tidy and presents you in the way you wish to be seen.
- Think about the environment you are attending for interview and tailor accordingly.
- Don’t cause a distraction e.g. loud shirts, clanking jewellery. You want the interviewer to focus on what your saying on your choice of shirt.
- People do look down – remember clean today and appropriate footwear.
Preparing for your interview
Do your research:
Start by finding out as much as you can about the company. Find out about the size of the company, what they do and their services/products. The best place to start is the company website but be sure to also check out other sources such as news articles and social media platforms.
Don’t be afraid to write down what you find and refer to it.
Also write down any questions that you would like to ask:
Here are some possible examples of questions you may wish to ask the employer…
- “Is this post a new or existing one?” – This question will help you to find out whether you are replacing somebody or if the role has just been created. If it is a new post, why has it been created?
- “Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?” – This is your chance to learn as much as possible about the role so you can decide if this really is the job that you want. This question also enables you to find out more about the specific skills and experience required.
- “Are there opportunities for further training & advancement in the company?” – Nobody wants to fall into a job with no prospects and this question enables you to find out more about the potential for progression within the company. You are also demonstrating your desire and drive for success and career progression.
- “How has business been for the company this past few months” – This question not only shows that you are interested in the company but will also allow the recruiter a chance to talk about what has happened and where they are heading.
- “What do you like best about working for this company?” – This question will give you an insight into the culture of the company and the interviewer’s personal experience there.
During the interview
Ensure you have a copy of your CV as well as any other relevant information you may need on hand. The recruiter may just be looking for a confident manner so the ability to respond intelligently to their questions regarding your previous roles and achievements is essential! But don’t just read your CV to them, it is there for reference and maybe any additional notes you have made prior to interview.
If you seem disinterested and answer the questions half-heartedly then you’re probably not going to be considered for the role. The recruiter is most likely speaking to lots of other candidates so if you don’t want to end up in the rejection pile, you’re going to need to shine.
How to answer their questions
Why are you leaving your current position?
This question is usually asked towards the beginning of an interview.
It is definitely advisable that you refrain from being overly critical or negative about your current/last employer –remain professional (not personal) at all times.
Rather than focusing on the negative aspects causing you to leave your current role, focus on the positive ones which attract you to a new one. For example, “I would like to find a role which is more challenging” or “I would like a role with a chance for progression”.
What do you know about the company?
Many employers ask this question at some point to find out what your preparation skills are like. Researching a company before an interview is very important. You do not want to find yourself in an uncomfortable position admitting that you have no idea what they do. Instead, you want to be able to give them a short overview of the company. Again feel free to make notes to refer to.
What were your main responsibilities in your last role?
You will most likely have written about your current responsibilities on your CV, so have this to hand for this question. Practice a clear explanation for each of the main duties you carry out in your current position – be confident.
Don’t read from your CV word-for-word as they will most certainly have it to hand themselves!
When listing a few of your main responsibilities, do so in a way that is different from how you wrote about them on your CV. Be sure to expand on how your experience would make you right for this role, maybe even give some examples.
What are your greatest achievements?
A potential employer may ask this as a way of finding out more about you and what you deem to be an important achievement – think carefully.
Your greatest achievement may not be work related but be clear on why it is important to you.
What salary are you looking for?
Many people find it awkward speaking about salary, but honesty is the best way forward on this one. Be sure to give a salary in line with the expectations of the role and within the scope of the role if salary was advertised or advised to you at the outset.