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Interview Tips


Here are some key points to remember when it comes to the interview process:

Interview Preparation

  • Research the company
  • Know your CV
  • Ask your consultant any questions in plenty of your time
  • Personal presentation is very important for first impressions
  • Punctuality is key

Techniques/pointers that you need to think about:

  • Think about your current role – know what you do inside out, volunteer information – know what your CV states!
  • Achievements – make sure you are armed with 2 or 3 examples in your most recent position. This will demonstrate how you will make a difference to your potential employer
  • Enthusiasm – not to be underestimated. Be excited about the position and company and why you would want to work there. Focus on the positives of the firm you are interviewing with and not the negatives of your current role. Back this up with on-line research.
  • Questions – always ask some at the end of the interview but avoid enquiring too deeply about hours, holiday and salary. Ask instead about progression, culture and measures of success.

The Interview

There are two main forms of interview:

1. Normal/unstructured interviews

In this more commonly used form of interview questions asked are looking to gain an overall impression. They may well focus on industry experience and are meant to gather general information but does not test any specific skill or competency. As the candidate is judged on general impression the process is likely to be more subjective.

Commonly asked questions that you should always prepare for include:

  • Why are you looking?
  • What about is it about this role that attracts you?
  • What do you do in your role?
  • What are you your weaknesses and how are you improving on them?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years
2. Competency (also called situational or structured) interviews

A style used to evaluate a specific ‘skill’ or ‘competency’. Candidates are asked situational examples and these need to be supported by concrete examples explained in an accurate, succinct manner. Competency interviews gives insight into styles of working and predict behaviour in future situations. The answer is then matched against previously decided criteria and graded against them.

Below is not a definitive list but regular ‘competencies’ tested include:

  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Commercial/external awareness
  • Management (and delegation)
  • Innovation
  • Managing conflict/difficult situations
  • Endurance/sticking power


Call your consultant and give feedback as soon as possible. The quicker the better as it means it is fresher in your mind and it gives the impression that you are interested to the client.

If you have any reservations to not be afraid to air them to your consultant as this will help them find out more information on your behalf. There is no point for any party in discovering these at the end of the process.

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