MSS People are dedicated to providing an excellent service and strive to guide candidates through the recruitment process to ensure they are fully prepared so that you are ever closer to your goal of obtaining a new career. There is no way to predict what an interview holds, but by following these important rules you will feel less anxious and will be ready to positively present yourself.
Interview Hints and Tips
- Before interview, make sure to research the company, and the role as best you can. If a job spec is provided, revise its particulars and take a look online at the company’s website. Knowing a little about the company’s history, its values, its mission, and the role you are applying for should give you a better idea of the overall situation, and should prepare you for your meeting ahead.
- Positive and professional demeanour – dress smartly, or as appropriate for the position in question. Upon meeting for the first time, smile, shake hands and maintain eye contact throughout when speaking and listening.
- A common opening question - If the Client asks you to describe yourself, or provide a brief synopsis of your history to date, avoid talking about personal issues, hobbies and life outside of work unless it relates to the role, or the Client makes it clear that they are interested in these areas.Summarise instead your work history, and how your previous experiences have led you towards an interest in their company and role you are applying for.
- Revise the latest copy of your CV - In most instances, this is all the Client has to go off before meeting you, so they will have prepared the majority of their questions from this information alone. Knowing your CV inside and out should prepare you for any questions around your work experience specifics.
- Take some time to prepare mentally for standard questions such as ones relating to your strengths and weaknesses, and prepare examples of situations where you have proved yourself in these areas. Examples of times where you may have lead others to reach an objective, or where you may have overcome conflict, resolved a difficult problem or performed well in a particular area are commonplace.
- If a question is asked of you where an explanation can be provided, for example: “have you used Microsoft Excel in past positions”, try to avoid closed answers such as “yes” or “no”. Try instead to provide a detailed answer which paints a better picture of your experience level. STAR, or “Situation, Task, Action and Result” is good to remember here. If the answer was yes, say yes to answer their point, then give a specific example of where you have used said tools, and then explain a little around the extent of your knowledge in this area.
- Take your time - If a question is particularly complex, or requires multiple layers to answer it effectively, do not panic. Take a moment to consider your response before replying. It’s not an interrogation, and the Client will be aware and understanding of the pressure you may be under. Remember to relate your answers back to the question and the role responsibilities to maintain relevance, and answer honestly and as best you can.
- Prepare some questions of your own to ask - An interview should be a two-way conversation. It is as much about you getting to know them, as they are of you, and you need to be sure that the role could work for you in line with your preferences, and aspirations. Having questions of your own also shows a positive and proactive approach.
- Money - keep an open mind when it comes to rates/salaries and any discussions around remuneration and package. Whilst it is important to determine whether the role can work for you on a financial level, it may harm your standing if the Client feels you are driven solely by these factors. Try to keep discussions of this nature until later stages, or when it is brought up by the interviewer. Be prepared to be asked about your current earnings, or expected earnings for the position you are applying for, and try not to give a broad range such as “£30,000-£35,000”, as this may limit you to the lower end of the spectrum in their future considerations.
- Closing out - remember to thank the Client for their time at the end of the interview, and shake hands again before leaving. If you are interested in the role, it would do no harm, and may significantly improve your position to let them know you are interested, and wanting to progress.