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1) Research

Do ensure that you research as much information as possible about the company, the type of business, size of company, main competition etc. Most information can be taken from the internet.

2) Location

Make sure that you know the exact address where the interview will be held and then ensure that you either have a trial run of the journey or that you allow yourself ample time to arrive, particularly if you are travelling in the rush hour. Street Map is good for finding locations quickly or A to Z. Above all do not be late for your interview.

3) CV

Make sure that you take a copy of your CV with you and any information you have found about the company. Also take a note pad and pen with details of any questions you may wish to ask plus you can write notes if necessary.

4) Interview techniques

  • Demonstrate that you understand fully what the job entails
  • Ensure that your CV fits that role
  • Be prepared to undertake some psychometric testing as this has become more common
  • Be prepared to undertake a computer skills test and possibly literacy and numeracy tests
  • Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer and remember to smile when appropriate
  • Demonstrate your ability to adapt to change, different situations, problems, adopting new working practices, etc.
  • Demonstrate a good attitude and the ability to interact with other members of the team/company – they will be looking for versatility and flexibility
  • Ensure that your answers are precise and exactly answer the questions posed
  • Consider each question and response carefully and give positive replies
  • Remember to be diplomatic with your responses
  • Good posture is important, sit upright and look keen and interested
  • Ensure that you do not fidget with your hands or fiddle with your pen even if you are nervous and never fold your arms as this is a sign of aggression
  • Show enthusiasm for the role
  • Shake hands firmly, smile and make eye contact

5) Possible questions to expect at interview

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you wish to leave your current employer?
  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What motivates you?
  • What de-motivates you?
  • Do you work more effectively on your own or as part of a team?
  • What do you enjoy most about your current job?
  • What do you enjoy least about your current job?
  • What has been your greatest achievement?
  • What is the biggest mistake that you have ever made?
  • What did you learn from this?
  • Why have you had so many jobs? (if applicable)
  • Would you be prepared to relocate
  • How would your employees describe your management/working style?
  • Why should I employ you for this role?
  • What is the hardest thing you have ever had to overcome?
  • What skills can you bring to the company?
  • What do you want to achieve in the next five years?
  • What is your opinion of our company?
  • How do you like to be managed?
  • Demonstrate how you dealt with a difficult situation or person.

6) The things NOT to do

  • Never tell lies – you will always be found out
  • Do not be over-confident
  • Don’t deviate from the interview or state strong views on any political issues
  • Do not be overly familiar with your interviewer
  • Do not discuss personal financial matters
  • Don’t indicate that this role may only be a stepping stone for you
  • Do not make any derogatory remarks about current or previous employers
  • Never be late for an interview
  • Do not have a negative outlook on anything
  • Do not ask how well you have done at the end of the interview
  • Do not raise the subject of salary, holiday entitlement or perks, etc. at the first interview