Interview advice

What to expect

Interviews come in many forms - panel interviews, one to one interviews, group interviews etc. Ask your consultant what form of interview it will be beforehand. You may be asked to take a test before the interview, depending on the type of organisation. These might consist of psychometric or aptitude tests.

There are many different interview styles and each interviewer will have their own personal style. Some interviewers will fire questions at you while others will start off with an open question such as "tell me about yourself" leaving you to do most of the talking. The majority of interviews will be somewhere between the two. Be prepared for any style of interview.


Two-way communication

Make sure the employer knows the benefits of employing you. It is important to sell yourself by telling the employer details of your relevant skills and experience that you have to contribute to the organisation.

Try not to monopolise the meeting - let your interviewer talk.

Find out what the key parts of the candidate specification are so you can show how you meet them.

Ask how the job contributes to the success, efficiency and profitability of the organisation.

Show that you have done some research especially from their web site.

Don't give negative information or bad news if you are not asked for it and don't criticise previous employers or jobs. The key is to turn negative information into positive information.


The next steps

Agree exactly what the next steps will be, such as who will contact you to let you know if you have been successful and by when. You should also find out whether there will be second interviews and who will conduct them. If you are really interested in the position make sure you tell the interviewer.


After the Interview

Tell the consultancy how the interview went and get feedback from them.



Everything is negotiable. If the final offer is not what you had hoped for, ask the consultancy to talk to the client. Say that you like the job but the package is not up to your expectations and ask if the company can be at all flexible.


Top Tips

Practice a strong positive handshake and plan your greeting.

Remember to smile and be polite to all the staff you meet.

Good eye contact is essential during the interview.

Ask if you can make notes during the interview. If this is acceptable, take out your notepad and pen but only write the occasional note down on paper.

Unless you feel particularly comfortable, do not accept tea or coffee at the interview as it can get in the way.

If you are taking papers to the interview, carry them in a suitable case or folder.