Our consultants’ top tips for interview success
Samantha Coles, March 11th 2022

So, you made it to the interview. It may be too early to celebrate the job just yet, but you are already in the 2% that made it past the application stage- that’s something to be proud of!

Whether it’s your 1st interview or your 50th interview, it is never easy.

Our consultants guide hundreds of candidates through this process every year. After taking the time to sit down and discuss their collective experience, I have been able to compile a list of their top tips for securing your dream role.

Be Prepared

It is surprising how many people turn up to a job interview with no understanding of the role they are applying for. 47% of employers will reject a candidate if they don’t appear to know much about the company.

Do your research.

• Be prepared to talk about the role and why you are perfect for it.
• What do you love about the company?
• How will you fit into the bigger picture?

Show the interviewer that you are enthusiastic about the job, and you have ideas to bring to the table.

Look at the job spec and identify the key skills or experience the employer is looking for, think about how you can demonstrate these.

Of course, you won’t always know the questions in advance, but if you keep the STAR method (situation, task, approach, result) in mind when answering questions, you can ensure that you can demonstrate your point clearly and avoid the rambling answers that make an employer switch off.

Don’t be late.

84% of interviewers regard lateness as the worst interview offence. If you have an onsite interview then plan your route the night before, look up the traffic the morning of the interview and factor in any travel time. Always leave before you need to.

That isn’t to say you should waltz into your interview half an hour early, 60% of employers agree that arriving more than 20 minutes ahead of schedule shows poor timekeeping skills.

The sweet spot is the 5–10-minute mark. You will appear to be eager, good at planning and it shows that you see the interview as a priority.

Post-covid, most employers are conducting video interviews. Set up your equipment in advance, if there are any programs you need then load it up with plenty of time to spare.

Check your internet connection. There is nothing more frustrating than a conversation broken up by poor connection. You will likely be working remotely at least some of the time, so a bad connection doesn’t give a good impression.

Getting simple things like this right is key to your interview success.

Ask Questions

An interview should be a two-way conversation. Use this time to find out more about the company and the role you are applying for.

Asking questions not only makes you more favourable to the employer, but it also can allow you to find out whether the role seems right for you.
Struggling to find questions to ask? Here are a few examples:

• What would I be doing on a typical day in my role?
• What training/ career progression do you offer?
• How will my performance be measured?
• What is your favourite part about the job?
• How would you describe the company culture?
• How did you come to join the company?

4 in 10 employers would reject a candidate if they showed no enthusiasm. Asking questions is an easy way to show you are enthusiastic about the role.

Be yourself

It’s only a cliché because its true!

There is no point pretending to be someone you’re not or lying about what you can and can’t do. Dishonesty is one of the main reasons that candidates don’t make it past the interview stage.

A little white lie about your skillsets may seem harmless, but you need to set realistic expectations of what you can and can’t deliver from day one. It will help smooth the onboarding process and allow the employer to provide suitable training for you.

Being overdressed is better than being underdressed

Whilst you may not be required to wear office attire in the day-to-day life of the company, you need to give a good first impression because first impressions count.

Regardless of whether your interview is onsite or remote, unless specified otherwise, wear something smart. 62% of employers say that how the candidate is dressed will affect their hiring decision.

Finally, don’t forget to smile!

40% of interviewers thought that lack of a smile was a big enough reason not to hire someone. You may be stressed, but your personality needs to shine through. Make eye contact, uncross your arms, and speak clearly.

The interview process can feel relentless, but these three tips will set you on the path to interview success.

If you want any further interviewing advice, our team has years of experience helping people get their dream job, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone: 0117 428 0600.

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