I am the worst at being interviewed but am the easiest person in the world to talk to. I am confident with holding an intelligent conversation with anyone but ask me personal questions in an interview setting and I turn in to a gibberish mess.

I am sure a lot of people can relate to the above statement. I did a long time ago but not anymore since I became more aware and more prepared. The below is, in my mind, one of the best guides for interviewing for your next job and how to be prepared in the first instance.


It is often the simple and most obvious things, which can make the difference between securing or losing your ideal job offer. Before the interview, there are several things that you can do to give you that leading edge over other applicants. A positive attitude is essential to convince the employer to offer you that lucrative position.


Research the company in as much detail as you can. You can visit the company websites for more detailed information and request a copy of their Annual Report. You can also contact your consultant who will have expert knowledge of the client, the environment you'll be working in, the company culture as well as the employer's expectations and candidate requirements. Take advantage of their experience and they will help you secure your ideal role

It is important to find out specific facts about the company:➧ What are their products and services?
➧ What is their growth potential for the future?
➧ Who are their main competitors?
➧ How are they viewed in the marketplace?

There are a number of research applications providing this information. Among the most helpful are:➧ The company's annual reports.
➧ Kompass.
➧ Textline.
➧ The Stock Exchange Research handbook.
➧ The Internet/Company websites.

Ensure that you are also up to speed with the facts and figures of your present/former employer. You will be expected to know a lot of information about the company you have previously worked for.


Ensure that you wear your smartest suit and act in a professional manner throughout the interview. A company is more likely to hire somebody who is well presented as they will be future representatives of their company


Ensure that you know the exact time and location of the interview. Your recruitment consultant will provide you with a contact name and also a map of how to get there if required. Allow plenty of time in case of travel delays.



⏩Switch your mobile off.
⏩Introduce yourself courteously.
⏩Arrive on time or earlier if possible (but not too early, 5-10 minutes is acceptable).
⏩Express yourself clearly.
⏩Smile during the interview.
⏩Show how your experience can benefit the company.
⏩Ask questions concerning the company.
⏩Construct your answers carefully.
⏩Show a willingness to learn and progress.
⏩Be assertive without being aggressive.
⏩Prepare 10 relevant questions, you'll probably cover 5 in the interview.


⏩Don't be late for the interview.
⏩Don't be unprepared for the interview.
⏩Don't answer questions with a 'yes' or 'no'. Expand whenever possible.
⏩Don't lie. Answer all questions truthfully and honestly
⏩Don't overemphasize money. Do not discuss salary in the 1st interview unless they do; getting the job at this stage is the main priority - salary negotiations will follow.
⏩Don't say negative things about previous employers.
⏩Don't show lack of career planning or aspirations.
⏩For every responsibility/requirement on the job specification, ensure that you have at least one example of an experience or a transferable skill that covers that requirement for the interview.


Q: Tell me about yourself (Interviewer thinks: I want to hear you talk)

A: This is a conversation starter and is nearly always asked. Talk about your qualifications, career history, and range of skills. Particularly emphasize those skills that are most relevant to the position on offer.

Q: Describe your achievements to date: (What they want to know: Are you successful?)

A: Another common question, so be prepared beforehand. Select an achievement that is career related. Identify the skills you used in this situation and quantify the benefit.

Q: Has your career met your expectations? (What they want to know: Are you confident, happy, positive, and ambitious?)

A: Answer must be a resounding 'Yes' however if you feel you are moving too slowly, then give reasons for this. Qualify your answer.

Q: Tell me the most challenging situation you have faced recently and how you dealt with it? (What they want to know: Are you logical? Do you show initiative? What's your definition of difficult?)

A: This is a trap question. To avoid it select a difficult work situation that was not caused by you, the options available, how you selected the appropriate one and why and how you resolved it and what the outcome was. Ensure that it is positive.

Q: What are your strengths? (Interviewer thinks: I hope you're honest, what have you got that's different? How can I use you in the team? What value will you add to the company?)

A: You are going to get asked this question, so there is no excuse for not being prepared. Discuss your main strengths. List three or four ways they could benefit your employer. Strengths to consider include technical proficiency, ability to learn quickly, determination, positive attitude and your ability to relate to people and work as a team. Provide examples and be prepared to back them up.

Q: What are your major weaknesses? (Interviewer thinks: I hope you're honest, what aren't you interested in? What will you need help with? What's your self-awareness like)

A: Don't say 'none' - we all have some! There are two options available when asked such a question - use a professional weakness such as lack of experience on your part in an area that is not essential to the job on offer. The second option is to describe a personal or professional weakness that could also be considered a strength and the steps that you have taken to combat this.

Q: What decisions do you find difficult to make? (What they want to know: Are you decisive? Do you have a human side?)

A: Your answer must not display weakness. Focus on decisions that have to be made without sufficient information. This will show your positive side.

Q: Why are you leaving your current employer?

A: Should be a straightforward answer - looking for more challenge, responsibility and experience. DO NOT be negative in your reasons for leaving, positive reasons are better.

Q: How do you deal with confrontation? (What they want to know: Are you strong? Can you admit you're wrong?)

A: Again - this is a trap question. Demonstrate that you're willing to listen, implement changes where necessary, but you have the courage of your convictions and will be firm when necessary.


If you are interested in the role, ask about the next interview stage if appropriate. If the interviewer offers you the job on the spot and you want it, accept it there and then. If you require further time to think it over, be tactful in saying so and qualify your reasons. Try and provide a definite date as to when you can provide an answer.

Do not be disappointed if no definite job offer is made at the interview stage. The interviewer will in most cases need to consult colleagues first or interview other suitable candidates.

If you feel that the interview is not going well, do not be discouraged. Sometimes this is part of an interviewer's technique to see how you perform under pressure - and may have no bearing on whether you will/will not get the job. Display a positive attitude at all times.

Ensure that you THANK the interviewer.


After the interview, it is essential that you call your recruitment consultant and provide feedback. In most situations, the consultant will not be able to get feedback from the client without speaking to you first. Any delay in providing this feedback can slow down the whole process. One of the most important learning aspects of interviewing is the feedback that you'll receive from the recruitment consultants after they've spoken to your potential employer. Whether it is positive or negative, it is essential that you take it on board and use it for future interviews. Feedback is a great learning opportunity for you.


Hopefully, this has been of interest to somebody out there and more so, of benefit to someone in a better interviewing technique. Please share and like this post so others will also benefit from the information.

Post By: Michael Upton - Consultant at Metis Technical Limited.
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