Before the interview:

  • Research the company
  • Check the address and plan your route
  • Dress appropriately
  • Prepare extra copies of your CV to take
  • Take a note pad and a spare pen or pencil just in case, but avoid taking copious notes at the interview
  • Turn off your mobile phone
  • Think about your key skills, competences and achievements
  • Think about what your objectives are

Anticipate questions and prepare some responses, here are some questions you may be asked:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are/were your primary responsibilities in your current/previous vacancy?
  • What is your current/last salary package?
  • Why did you leave/are you considering leaving?
  • What are your main accomplishments in this position?
  • Describe a typical workday
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What are your short-term/long-term objectives?
  • What is your management style?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of your job?
  • What are you looking for now?
  • What other kinds of positions have you applied for recently?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
  • How would you describe your personality?
  • Describe a major goal you set and what steps you took to reach it?
  • What steps do you take to overcome a problem?
  • How would your managers describe you?
  • Describe a time when you have had a conflict with a colleague. How did you overcome it?

Plan some of your own questions (2 or 3 maximum). Ensure they are relevant to your application. This may be covered at the end of your interview, and you will want it to end on a positive note.

At the interview:

  • First impressions. A firm handshake, with an enthusiastic greeting and a good amount of eye contact and a brief self-introduction should make a good first impression
  • Keep your right hand free, as this is the hand that you will greet your interviewer with
  • Be polite to the support staff you meet including those at a recruiter. They count too and may influence a decision in your favour
  • Break the ice. In most interviews small talk will fill the small gap before the point of getting down to business

During the interview:

  • Let the interviewer lead the conversation early on
  • Try not to monopolise the meeting
  • Keep an attitude of ‘what can I do for the company’
  • Stress your positive points that are relevant
  • Talk about what appeals and what you can offer
  • Keep your replies simple
  • Don’t make unnecessary negative remarks about current or former employers
  • Look interested, smile, nod and keep eye contact
  • Sit “tall” – do not slump back in the seat
  • Don’t fiddle with pens, keys or other objects
  • Speak confidently and ensure your body language and gestures are positive and appropriate

Some questions you may want to ask:

  • What will be my responsibilities?
  • Where will I fit into the overall organisational structure?
  • Who will I report to?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What are the organisation’s future plans?
  • What is the potential for career progression in this role?
  • Will travelling be required in this position?
  • Will relocation be required now or in the future?
  • When will you decide on the appointment?
  • What is the next step?
  • What are the greatest challenges of this position?
  • What is the reason for the vacancy?
  • How do you think I fit the position?

Closing the interview:

  • Let them know you’re interested in the position, and why
  • Clarify what the next step is
  • Ask them what else they need to know about you
  • Summarise why you feel you can do the job


For further career advice or a formal discussion about your job search please contact us.

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