How to approach an interview

You have applied for the role and have been invited to interview, so, how do you make sure that you’re best prepared?

Employers use interviews to establish an applicant has the required skills, knowledge and attributes to succeed in the position available. Interviews assess many levels of an individual’s character and career, including cultural fit, team dynamics, and their willingness to contribute to the organisation as a whole. Employers seek candidates who will be valued, trusted and productive team players.

Interviewees must try to consider how they can best demonstrate their skills and experience, making sure this is done in a positive and constructive manner. You need to consider which examples you can use to provide evidence that you’re the right individual for the role.


– Research the company, its competitors, market position and any recent activities.

– Prepare a list of questions that you think might be asked and plan your answers. A useful tip is to look at the job description.

– Define the required qualities and identify the skills and experiences that you need to fulfil the role.

– Think of any questions you would like to ask the recruiter about the company, the department and the position.

Personal Impact

Making the positive impression you can on your interviewer is important in securing any position.

Employers will expect you to:

– Dress smartly

– Arrive on time

– Portray a positive attitude

– Relax and be yourself

– Listen carefully to questions

– Plan before you speak and answer the question asked

– Be enthusiastic

– Focus on what you can offer them

– Emphasise your skills and experiences relevant to the position

– If appropriate, describe which transferable skills you can bring to benefit the position

– Provide examples of the company’s competencies, e.g. strong market position

Employers will not wish to recruit candidates who:

– Demonstrate a lack of enthusiasm or negative attitude towards themselves or others

– Criticise their managers, or those they report to

– Give the impression that the role is not their first choice

– Cannot commit to the length of the role (interim, contract & temporary roles)

– Are inflexible

And if you really want to stand out after the interview, take the time and send a “real” (not electronic) note to your interviewer. I know it means more time, expense and trouble than an e-mail, but sending a note can make you stand out from any competition you might have. In that note, re-emphasize the points you made, plus any others that might have occurred since that time.

Date: 20/09/2016
Author: Adam Keable
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