Face to Face Interviews

Following on from our last blog on telephone interviews, we have continued the theme with some face to face interview tips! Going to an interview can be daunting, which is why we have put together some essential preparation for the next stage. Whether you’re new to job hunting or just need a few extra pointers, here are our top tips on how to prepare…

Before the interview

· Do your homework — look at the company website and follow their social media accounts for updates and news, also research your interviewers and the companies key players

· Study the job description — pick out key points and prepare examples of key skills using the STAR method (keep reading for an explanation on STAR)

· Dress for success! Even if the company are ‘dress down’, always dress smart for your interview, first impressions are everything

· Find out exactly where the interview is being held, and how you’re going to get to the interview

· Give yourself plenty of time, it’s good to arrive approx. 10 minutes before the interview

During

· Give a firm handshake and smile

· Always take a glass of water if offered — this makes you seem more personable

· Have good posture and maintain eye contact with your interviewer, looking down at the floor will make you seem shy, looking out the window and around the room will make you seem distracted

· Take a notebook and prepare questions to ask beforehand

· Listen and never interrupt your interviewer

· Try not to speak too quickly, take your time and think about what you’re saying

· Be honest throughout — don’t tell white lies, they will come back to bite you!

· Breathe!

· If you are interested in the role, make sure you say so!

· End on a positive note, for example ‘thank you and I look forward to hearing from you’

STAR Technique

You may be asked some competency-based interview questions, when it comes to answering these try to use the STAR technique. This is where you lay out the situation you were facing, the task you had to do, the action you took and what the result was. It’s always good to have some examples in your notes that you can refer to, you will need to think about your top skills and abilities and how these can meet your potential employer’s needs.

Situation: Start by outlining the situation you were in.

Task: Talk about the task at hand. What was required of you?

Action: What did you do? What action/s did you take and why?

Result: Summarise the results of your actions.

Common interview questions to prepare for

· Tell me about yourself — keep this professional and summarise your education and career rather than what your dog’s names are!

· Tell me your weakness — this is the question most candidates crumble on, start by describing a minor weakness but then explain how you are already working on it to improve/change it, interviewers won't buy ‘I’m a perfectionist’ as your true weakness

· Salary expectations — keep this consistent and don’t suddenly bump it up in the interview!

· Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

· Can you explain the gaps in your work history?

· What do you enjoy doing outside of work/ your hobbies?

Interview questions to ask

· Tell me more about the company

· How many people are in the team — why do they enjoy working at the company?

· Tell me my daily responsibilities or a typical working day

· Training potential

· What would you expect from me in the first 3 months?

· What are the company’s future plans?

· Describe the ideal candidate

As said in our last blog, we ask all candidates to phone us before an interview to run through preparation, this is really important as you can use it as a test run, pick up more handy hints from our Recruitment Consultants and it can help with your pre-interview nerves!

Good luck!

Heather and Olivia x