Five top tips for interview preparation

Many of our candidates ask us for advice on how to best present themselves at interview. Interviews can be daunting, especially if you are entering the job market for the first time or you have spent a long period at one company. Remember that regardless of your 'on paper' experience, the impression that you convey at interview is usually THE make or break factor.

Good preparation is the key to performing well at interview. It will also give you confidence and help allay any nerves. Preparation can be both practical and knowledge based. Here we have provided our top tips to preparing for interviews.

Five top tips for interview preparation

  • Research the firm you are interviewing with, the role you are interviewing for, and your interviewer's background if relevant. Information sources include their website, libraries, friends and your recruitment consultant. Think about the firm's background, current projects, culture, mission statements etc. This inside information about the company and the type of people it wants to employ can make a huge difference to your chances. Kingsley Associates can assist you on this.
  • Make sure you know your CV. Check dates of employment (as these may have to be confirmed) and make sure you can explain the progression succinctly.
  • Ensure you have all relevant details such as time, date and interview location, as well as the interviewer names(s) where appropriate. It is important that you take personal responsibility for these details and chase your consultant if they have not been provided – remember that your interview is one of many that they are involved in every day.
  • Plan your journey and factor in the chance of delays. DON'T be late. Plenty of time should be allowed for the journey so you arrive early and stress-free. You may work long hours and be under time pressure, but if you are interviewing at another firm the chances are that your interviewer is in a similar situation. Thus a negative impression is immediately created if you affect the smooth running of their day.
  • Wear a dark suit, white shirt/top and plain tie (men). Clean your shoes, shave (if appropriate!) and ensure your hair is tidy. Make-up, if worn, should be conservative. Do not underestimate how all these factors present well to the interviewer – FIRST IMPRESSIONS LAST!

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