Top tips for handling interviews
Interviews can vary hugely, from very formal to completely relaxed. You need to strike a balance here – if the interview is very relaxed, then adapt your style to some degree, but always remember that you are there to impress
- Later posts on 'Behavioural / Competency Based Interviews' and 'Typical Questions & Discussion Points', should help you focus your mind on the sorts of things which often come up. It is important that you spend some time considering your answers.
It is a good idea to practice your answers to questions of this type both mentally and actually. Use your consultant's skills in this area – run through your answers with him/her and together you can fine tune your responses so that you can really get the most out of this meeting.
- Ensure your answers are succinct but not abrupt. Avoid waffling or going off at tangents. Although you may feel you have not had the chance to discuss all of your skills, the interviewer will have ensured they have gleaned all the relevant information for that stage.
- Think before you speak! If you are faced with a technical question, problem-solving exercise or unexpected topic take a deep breath and give yourself time to collect your thoughts. This will demonstrate that you are not repeating the information parrot fashion, but have the reasoning skills essential to succeed in this market.
- If you don't know – admit it! Ideally this should happen only once or twice though! Be honest and open – never lie.
- Even if, halfway through, you feel the role is not for you, continue as you would for a position you love. You may wish to interview with the firm in the future for another role, or may deal with them in another capacity. Your interviewer has given their time, and wants to feel it has been well spent, even if it is only to establish you are not right for the job.
- It is vital that you remember that the interview is essentially your chance to sell yourself. In order to sell effectively you first need to make sure you have listened to what is required of you, and therefore learnt which aspects of your experience / attributes / personality are sale-able to this particular interviewer. Refer back to the question, or to comments that have been made earlier in the interview, in order to show that you have listened and to make sure that your answers are relevant.
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