Interview tips

Handling Interviews

It's a fact that no matter how qualified you are to do the job, it's how you perform at an interview that will decide whether or not the job is yours. Here are some tips on how to handle the dreaded interview.

Be Prepared

Ensure you know who you are meeting, what their position is within the company and how to get there. If necessary, do a dry run before the interview.

Make sure you have researched the company and the role. There is no excuse for not looking at their website, and ensure you can demonstrate this knowledge to the interviewer.

Prepare appropriate questions for the interviewer.

Pay particular attention to how you look. It's a period in history where dress codes are generally more relaxed, but no assumptions should be made. First impressions still count so ensure that your outfit is smart but comfortable.

Make sure your mobile 'phone is switched off before entering the company building.

First Impressions Count

Your prospective new employer is sizing you up the moment you make contact and it's not just a smart appearance that makes a positive first impression; How you conduct yourself at reception on arrival may have an impact so remember to treat everyone with courtesy and respect at all times.

  • Remember to demonstrate confidence and smile, using names where appropriate
  • And it's still generally expected that you'll use a fairly firm handshake. Post Covid some interviewers have ceased offering a hand so it may be a skill you don't use.
  • When entering the interview room, ensure you are comfortable and have any notes and preparation to hand.

The Interview Process

Remember to be attentive and interested throughout.

Pay attention to eye contact (we appreciate at Clarity that our neurodivergent colleagues can find this difficult but not everyone is quite so aware). And smile and nod as you listen.

Make notes where appropriate although bear in mind that it can be disconcerting to an interviewer if you are scribbling throughout the process!

  • Ask the interviewer questions throughout rather than save up questions for the prompt at the end. Treat the whole process as a conversation because that's what it is. The interview will be far more natural and you will get more out of it. You will be building a rapport.
  • Take your time to answer questions carefully and in a considered manner. If you do not understand the question, clarify before answering. If you are being interviewed by more than one person, ensure you answer any questions to the person who has asked but do not exclude the others.
  • Make eye contact with those too, drawing them into the conversation. Ensure you remain honest in your answers. It is not wrong to have weaknesses. The importance is to be aware of them and understand there are areas that need improvement. If you are aware of an area that may come up for questioning that may be uncomfortable, pre-empt it. Remember never to be negative about previous employers.
  • At the end of the interview, thank those present for their time and shake hands (if offered).

After the Interview

Call your Recruitment Consultant as soon as possible after the interview with your thoughts and feelings about how it went.