Top interview tips

This week we’re looking at general interview tips. We asked our clients to give us any additional top tips that they felt would help you in the planning and process of the recruitment interview. Here they are :


  • Be on time! Get the train before the one you think you need and go for a coffee first!
  • Listen to the question!
  • Be yourself
  • Prepare!
  • Research the company and the role extensively, request a job description if you don’t already have one.
  • Be positive about the job that you are going for rather than negative about the job that you are leaving.
  • Be confident!
  • Let them know well in advance if you need to rearrange the time or date.
  • Dress smart! It is better to be too smart than too casual.
  • Look at the company website and find out not just who they are, what they do but also press releases and current events that the company are involved in.
  • Be aware of the job description and what is expected of someone in that role.
  • Try and make small talk at the beginning, as it breaks the barriers whilst you are on the way to the interview room.
  • Be nice to everybody – being rude to security or reception will get back to your interviewer, and is neither professional nor very nice!
  • Try to stay calm and relax
  • Present yourself well, but realistically. You need to be confident in your skill sets but not sell things you don’t have!
  • Emphasise your people skills – you can teach people the nitty gritty of the job but you can’t teach them good people skills!
  • Try to think of at least one good question to ask at the end of the interview, but preferably three.
  • Ask relevant questions about the role, the department or team, or about the company. If you really do know everything about the job (which is unlikely!) ask questions anyway as it shows that you are interested and alert. ‘
  • Example questions – “What’s a typical day like? What’s the team like? Who will I be working with?”
  • Be yourself so that they can see your personality – it will help you shine above other candidates.
  • Remember that your CV is just the facts about you – you need to bring it to life.
  • Highlight any relevant qualifications and achievements you have made – be confident in your achievements.
  • Get some idea of the culture of the company before you go (either from the website or from your recruitment consultant). This will give you an idea on how to present yourself and ensure that you get the correct degree of professionalism in your personal presentation.
  • Think about how your experience matches the role, and what gaps there are in your experience and how you would fill those in order to perform the job more effectively.
  • Make sure you respond to a competency based question with something you have actually done, rather than what you would do in an example situation – many people get this muddled.
  • Tell the truth! It IS obvious if people are exaggerating!
  • If you are passionate about the job, do let it show, this is exactly what interviewers want to see!
  • Have the right mindset – walk in there thinking positively about the job, even if in reality you are not sure, and use the interview to ask questions to answer any concerns or queries you might have about the role.
  • Think before you answer!
  • Be aware of your body language and the way you communicate.
  • Be absolutely clear in your mind why you are going for interview. Why does the job appeal to you? The interview is to find out, both for you and for the employer, if this is the right fit.
  • Be prepared to laugh a bit – don’t take it too seriously!
  • Understand that interviews are a scoring based system, and that they need concrete examples of their skills in order to confirm that you are capable in these areas.
  • Appear completely in charge and completely in control – rise above the occasion! You don’t want the interviewer to miss out on your personality because all they can see are your nerves!
  • Remember to maintain eye contact.
  • Don’t be overly familiar – even if the interviewer is quite relaxed and friendly.
  • Do not ask the interviewer personal questions.
  • Take a CV, notepad, and prepared questions.
  • Do take notes if you need to.
  • Be communicative, try and give explanatory answers rather than monosyllabic answers!
  • Be actively interested – remember that the interviewer has taken the time out to speak to you!
  • Be enthusiastic!

by manuela on August 28, 2007

posted on boyce recruitment updates,