Interview Preparation

Well done! Your strong CV has struck a chord with an employer and you’ve been invited to interview. But don’t sit back. There’s plenty more work to be done.

 

Preparation
  • Your BLT consultant will provide you with plenty of background on the employer and direct you to further resources for you to do your research. In the digital age it’s a work of moments to read up about the company, its services and markets. Try to find some recent news item which you can use to show you’ve researched the employer. And use LinkedIn to delve into your interviewer’s background.
  • Think about what you’ll wear. Most BLT clients will expect you to dress professionally. It’s always better to err on the smart side.
  • And don’t forget to plan your journey to the interview site. Better to arrive 20 minutes early (and sit in a coffee shop) than add to stress levels by racing to get there on time.

 

The Interview

Check with your recruiterabout the likely type of interview. But keep in mind that you’ve been invited because the employer already believes you have the ability to do the job. You’ll be given the opportunity to show that.  But you will also need to develop empathy with the interviewer, so that you – and not your fellow interviewees – will be the one offered the job.

Your interview may include a very formal element. Have a look at our Tackling Tests page for information about how to approach Tests or Competency Based Interviews.

Most interviewers will have a set of questions to test the relevance of your experience to the role. These are designed to show particular skills or abilities, and will allow you to talk about achievements or accomplishments in job-related areas which demonstrate how you’ve handled tasks or situations. They can be widely framed, such as “What kind of person are you? Describe yourself?” to those that are much more targeted – “Tell me about a specific problem you’ve confronted and how you worked round it? Were you successful?”

You will have thought about these in advance, or course, and have some ready answers to hand. This will mean you can sound confident and assured.

The interviewer will base her questions on your CV, and quite possibly other information she has discovered about you from your social media presence. What probing questions might be prompted by what’s on-line? Be prepared to talk about your studies, your outside interests and your personal as well as professional/work life.

Have short stories to tell – 30 to 60 seconds – about experiences which demonstrate your ability to do the job, overcome difficulties, engage with superiors, influence and persuade – whatever you think is appropriate for the role. Above all, be enthusiastic and positive. You must leave the interviewer with the impression that you really – yes really – want this position. You might not think this is necessary, but if you were the employer, wouldn’t you prefer to hire someone who seemed keen to work for you?

 

The Follow Up 

Your BLT consultant will want you to call back as soon as you can with your impressions of the interview. He/she can relay your impressions and convey your interest in the role. And provide you with feedback from the employer.

 

What happens next?

The interview process might stretch over a number of rounds, with more technical parts to prepare for, or group exercises, or personality testing. Your BLT consultant can advise. You may be rejected after the first round – too bad, but there will probably be some good feedback as to why, which will help with the next job interview. And – congratulations – you may be offered the job.

Whatever the outcome, good luck!

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