Making it to the interview stage is a great sign that the employer is interested in seeing if you’re right for the job. During the interview they’ll be a chance to discuss your experience and demonstrate how this could be applied to this new role. It’s therefore important to give a good first impression, so the interviewer gains confidence that you’re a strong candidate for the job.
Interviews can be incredibly daunting, but the only reason you should be worried is if you haven’t done your research beforehand. A little bit of preparation goes a long way, and doing so will not only improve your knowledge of the company you’re applying to work for, but also help you feel more comfortable talking about it to someone else.
Getting in the right frame of mind
The employer has read your CV and feels that you are a strong contender for the position, so you should be feeling confident ahead of your interview. Think about why you applied and what you have to offer the organisation, and be ready to discuss any aspects of your CV to date – the interviewer is going to quiz you based on what they’ve read from it, so make sure you learn it inside-out if you haven’t already.
You’ll also feel better about the interview if you make sure you’ve arrived with everything you need. Unless stated otherwise, make sure you’re dressed to impress and make sure to also take along a pen and pad to take any notes, as well as a copy of the job description. If it’s a virtual interview, make sure you have downloaded any software you’ll need to use in advance and have tested it’s working. You’ll still be able to take notes, so have a notepad and pen close to hand.
Gaps in your CV
If you’ve left any gaps in your CV, you’ll may need to explain them. If you worked somewhere in a temporary capacity but didn’t include the details on your CV, make sure you know the details of the company you worked for, the work you carried out and the length of the assignment. If you weren’t working at the time, explain to the interviewer what you were doing to try to find a new opportunity.
Reasons for leaving
The employer could ask you the reason you left your last position. If you feel that the job you’re applying for is a better opportunity then explain how you thought it could benefit you. If you left involuntarily, present the reason in the most positive light you can. Make sure your responses are honest and be positive.
Research the job and organisation
Before attending the interview, it’s important to do your research and familiarise yourself with the role. Visit the company’s website and try to take a note of its size, history, information on its products/services, competitors and any other information you deem of interest. Do the same with the job description and try to pick out the key skills that the employer is looking for so you can show them how your skillset could be of use to them.
The interview isn’t just an opportunity for the employer – it’s your chance to find out if the company is suitable for you. Think of some questions to ask during your interview. Try to ask open questions which will need full answers rather than a simple “yes” or “no”, as these will give you more detail on the role. Try asking things like:
- Can you give me more detail on the key responsibilities of the job?
- What current and future projects are in the pipeline?
- Where do you see this role evolving?
Get support from your recruiter
Our recruiters often contact their candidates ahead of their interviews to go over any queries they may have beforehand. Use this time to ask any questions you may have, however trivial you may think they are – they will have spoken in-depth to the client, so will often be able to answer those pressing questions.