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Interview Tips

Tips for Preparing for an Interview
  • Always ensure that you have conducted thorough company research and of the job role. Preparing for an interview can be
  • the determining factor between you and other similarly skilled candidates. 
Company Research
  • This includes researching company size, competitors, areas for expansion etc. The more senior the role the more company research you must do.
  • Factors to consider are what are the company trying to achieve, what are the most demanding aspects of the role and what are your particular
  • strengths that you can bring to it.
First Impressions Count
    • Ensure that you have a good firm dry handshake and good eye contact and body language. Remember BE POSITIVE. First Impressions Count.
    • Get as much information as possible about the interview process.
    • Always be positive about previous organisations that you have worked for - nobody wants to hear negative comments about your 
    • employer - they will take it as sign of how you would reflect them if they employed you. Additionally you never know who knows who!
    • This is very important!!! Give examples but always be concise - think about the question the client has asked - DON'T WAFFLE.
Interview Questions for Employers
      • Make sure you have at least two good interview questions to ask the client. Remember they are a potential Employer, Try and put your self in there shoes.
      • What interview questions are they expecting you to ask. "Me" questions are not good. Eg. "How much does it pay?" "What training will I get?" The kind of
      • Interview questions that you need to ask are things like:(a) "How has the current economic situation impacted on your business model?" (b) "From looking
      • at your web site I noticed that you are doing…How have the developments within 'X' competitor affected your ability to succeed?"The main objective of you
      • asking questions is to show the interviewer that you are intelligent, are thinking about and have understood the role. You are not so much setting out to determine 
      • the answers to the questions but to impress the interviewer with the content of the Interview questions that you answer.
Competency Based Interview Questions
        • The competency based Interview questions are obviously crucial skills needed to fulfil the role. If you have prepared for the interview and conducted an appropriate
        • level of company research then you should have a clear idea of what's expected and be well prepared. Always remember to turn negatives into positives.
        • Eg. "No I do not have experience of SAP however before I started at 'X' company I had no experience of...and I picked that up really quickly and eventually achieved …"
        • Think about why they are asking you each particular question in relation to the job you have applied for and therefore the answer they are expecting. Always give examples:
        • Eg."Yes I am good on Excel, when I worked at 'X' I was responsible for developing a business model to..."
        • On the money side, it is recommended to leave this wherever possible to the consultant (ALWAYS ON THE TEMPORARY SIDE). The reason we recommend this is that it
        • is easy to either talk yourself out of a role by asking for too much money or to undersell yourself and not ask for enough. It is in our interest to always secure the best possible for you.
Close The Interview
  • Always Close the Interview: Eg. "From what you have told me about the role I really like the sound of it. I am very impressed with the company...and after meeting with yourselves I really
  • feel I would like to work here. Do you think I would have any difficulty fitting into the role or the company?" 
  • This is effectively saying to the client - you like the job and the company and want the job. This is important because interviewers are more likely to decide in your favour if they feel confident
  • that you are positive about them. Additionally closing the interview gives them a last minute opportunity to ask you any further questions concerning any doubt that may be niggling in the back
  • of their mind but they feel awkward to suddenly come out with the question. This can make all the difference!
  • Finally as they show you out please ensure that you finish with a handshake and a thank you for having interviewed you.
  • THEN PHONE CIRCLE SQUARE TALENT WITH YOUR FEEDBACK as soon as you can after the interview (before you get on the tube).

These tips for preparing for an interview will also help your confidence on the day.


More Interview Tips


10 Things to Boost Interview Success

 How to Shoot yourself in the Foot in the Interview

1) Stop using generalities, like “I’m a problem-solver” and “I’m a real team player.” Generalities about strengths are ignored, forgotten, or not heard. When interviewers evaluate a candidate they recall the examples and stories the candidate used to prove a point. From these examples they conclude to what degree the candidate possesses the strength or attribute.


2) Never say “I don’t have any weaknesses.” Everybody has weaknesses. The point of the question isn’t even about weakness, it’s an attempt to determine your character, honesty, and self-awareness. On the surface, saying you don’t have any weaknesses implies you’ve stopped growing, can’t learn anything new and can’t be coached. Openly stating a weakness, and describing how you’ve learned from it, indicates a willingness to get better.


3) Don’t give answers that are too short or too long. In an interview, you’re judged not just on the content of your answers, but also the quality of how they’re presented. The best answers are 1-2 minutes long. If your answers are too short you’re assumed to lack ability or insight, or interest. Worse, you force the interviewer to work too hard. Interviewees who talk too much are considered self-absorbed, boring and imprecise. Worse, after two minutes the interviewer tunes you out and doesn’t hear a thing you’ve said.


4) Don’t ask “what’s in it for me” questions. At the beginning of the interview, assume you’re the seller, even if you’re the hottest, in-demand candidate in the world. Asking self-serving questions like “what does the job pay?” or questions about benefits and related superficialities, are an instant turn-off. It’s certainly okay to ask about these things once the interviewer signals that you’re a serious candidate for the job.


5) Don’t look at your resume. During the interview you must not look at your resume. This is a sign you’re either nervous (which you probably will be), or you fabricated something. Interviewers expect you to know your work history completely, including companies, dates, job titles, roles, responsibilities and key accomplishments. To help recall these important details, write them down on a few 3X5 cards before the interview.


Other useful posts to support your job search and assist with career advice:

Circle Square Talent - Finance, Banking & Accountancy Recruitment London
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