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Interview Guide

Interview Guide

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Rowena Spurgeon careers, Future Talent

How do I prepare for an interview?

In most cases, your recruitment consultant should be able to assist you with your preparation, but conducting your own research will certainly help.

Know the company. Look into the organisation’s performance, study their website, blogs, social media sites and research relevant articles on their recent activity. Have they won awards recently? Have they made any significant new hires? Trade publications are also another good source of information, as are any existing employees you may know.


Do you know where you are going? Check the address and save it in your phone. If you don’t know the area and can’t find it on Google maps, call your consultant for directions. Give yourself lots of time and aim to arrive 10 minutes early particularly if you relying on public transport.

Call your recruitment consultant at least the day before, and get a briefing on the job including who you are seeing, and go through any job description. They should also be able to help you with the type of interview, the personality of the interviewer or with any other information that you may need.

Make sure you know what is in your CV. It is amazing how many people fail at interview because they haven’t read their CV recently. It is important to be able to discuss any aspect of your CV such as why you studied a particular course at university, or the part that you played in a particular project/deal (also make sure that you can discuss any overall business aims). Make sure you remember any relevant dates or qualifications.

The interview is a two-way street. As well  as ensuring that you ’sell’ yourself to best effect, you should also be considering questions for the interviewer on aspects of the role, such as prospects for career development and the corporate culture.

Do you know who you will be meeting? Check the profile of the interviewer via the organisation’s website and LinkedIn.

What questions can I expect to be asked?

These are all deliberately ‘open’ questions, in other words you cannot answer them with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

• Why do you want to leave XXX organisation?
• Why are you interested in joining YYY organisation?
• What will you miss most in your current position?
• What types of people do you work well with/not work well with?
• What would you say have been your greatest successes in your current position?
• What would you have done differently in your current position?
• Give us examples of how your management style has been effective?

What questions should I ask my interviewer?

Some good questions to ask may include:

• Why has the position become available?
• What is the culture of your organisation?
• What is the policy of your company on training and development?
• What are the future plans of the company?
• Who do you regard as your main competitors?
• What type of employee is historically successful in your company?

• What have you learnt over the course of the last 5 years?
• What have you done that shows initiative in your current position?
• How would your team describe you?
• What are your career goals?
• How are you at prioritising?
• Give examples of your delegation skills?What are your hobbies?
• What is the most difficult thing you have ever done at work?
• Will you be available to travel during the week?
• What would your colleagues say about you?
• What do you think your current firm will do when you resign?
• What are your long-term aims?

• How do you appraise the performance of your employees?
• What would I expect to be involved in during my first 3/6/12 months?
• What are the long term prospects for the successful applicant?
• Is there a possibility of working overseas?
• Ask about the interviewer’s background. People always like to talk about themselves and this gives you the chance to gather your thoughts.

How should I close the interview?

It is important to leave the interviewer with a positive impression - thank them for the opportunity to meet with them and for their time. If you are still interested in the position make sure that they know. If they ask if you are interested – don’t say “I’ll think about and get back to you”. Be positive and say yes.
Immediately afterwards, note down your thoughts on the interview and any questions that you might have while they are still fresh in your mind.
Call your recruitment consultant as soon as you can with honest feedback. The sooner you do this, the sooner they can speak to the organisation to find out what they are thinking.

At all times stay in touch with your recruitment consultant who should relay positive or negative feedback. They will prepare you for the next meeting and give you help and advice at all stages. Remember that recruitment consultants will be highly experienced in the complete recruitment life cycle from interview through to offer, acceptance/rejection and resignation. Use all their knowledge and experience to help you make the most of the recruitment process, the company and see whether they have any reference to behaviours or competencies that they look for when hiring.