The Gazelle team are professionally trained in interview and selection. The interview advice and tips below are based on common interview mistakes and what can prevent a person being offered the job – even if on paper they are best qualified. The most important thing to do it to make sure you prepare. You would be amazed how many candidates do not pass the first interview stage because they just haven’t prepared sufficiently. Preparing gives you confidence that you are giving this your very best shot.
You would be amazed how many candidates fall at the first hurdle by not looking into companies. The best interview advice to start with is research, research and research some more. This include the company, it’s values, sectors they operate and their locations.
The first and common interview questions is ‘what do you know about the company’. Put yourself ahead of the game by taking a genuine interest in the the employer. Look at their website, linked in and social platforms and find out what they’re really about.
Add Value and Sell Yourself
Prospective employers want to know how you will add value to their company. Many candidates have great skills and have made significant contributions to the places they have worked but tend to take those things for granted.
Think seriously about what your contributions have been. Make a list of them and include them on your CV. If you’ve got figures to hand use them! The prime times to promote yourself and your abilities in an interview situation are when you are being asked competency based questions. If you feel you did something really well, tell them about it.
Prepare for Common Questions
The list of what questions can be asked at interview is endless. However, there are some pretty standard interview questions which are asked. Interviewees often struggle to answer because they’ve not put enough thought into them. Standard questions are:
What are your strengths? Give technical skills relevant to the person spec.
What are your weaknesses? Think of some areas where you’d like to improve, then talk about what you are doing about it? Deflects the question and turns a negative into a positive.
Why do you want to work here? Ensure what you want to get out of your next role matches what the company is looking for.
Plan your Journey
We have all done it – left things to the last minute then we take a wrong turn. Then the traffic is bad so we are going to be late. Then we find there is a parking meter and we don’t have the right change. This is all unnecessary pressure. All of these things are preventable – prevent them! Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Plan your journey and always allow 15 minutes on top of that just in case! Better to be early then late.
Analyse the JD, Personal Spec & Know your CV
Read over any job description and personal specification your have for the role. Go through each of the duties and competencies needed and think of an example of how you would demonstrate your level of skill and experience for each one. If you are nervous, practice answers in front of a mirror until you can speak clearly, eloquently and confidently.
A biographical interview is where the interviewer works their way through your CV asking various questions to help them understand you a bit better. Know your CV inside and out and be prepared to answer questions about your reasons for leaving, etc. For our CV Advice CLICK HERE.
Keep Listening, Stay Positive and be Clear & Concise
The interviewer wants to see how confident you are at interview stage. They also want to know more about you. Some people make the mistake of consistently talking. Don’t go around the houses to answer the question or the interviewer will get bored. Listen to the question you are being asked. Don’t interrupt, take a moment to pause and consider your response. Answer carefully and concisely.
Remain positive throughout the interview, don’t be derogatory about previous employers. As the saying goes, “if you can’t think of anything nice to say, say nothing.”
Interview the Interviewer
Nowadays, an interview is two way situation. This company and the people within are going to be where you will be spending a vast amount of your life if you are offered the job and accept. You need to make sure you have made the right choice and it is the right place for you to work.
Think of why you are leaving your present employment, why you left previous employment, what are you looking for for the future? You need to make sure this company will offer you these things or your time with them will be short lived and you will be back to the drawing board in a few months. A company will like it when you ask questions, it shows you are interested and serious.
Close for Commitment & Follow Up
How often have you walked out of an interview and not really known what the interviewer is thinking? One of the best things you can do is to ask the interviewer if they have any reservations. If they give you reasons, then you have the opportunity to reassure them if their reservations are unfounded.
A common problem when it comes to interviews is not receiving feedback. So ask for timescales on when you will hear back. When the next interview stage is. Or when the company will make a decision. Get a date and follow up if you don’t hear back on that date. Don’t settle for we will be in touch.
Interactive Interview Advice
Interactive and online interviews are becoming more and more popular. Therefore, familiarising yourself with interactive platforms is a great way to prepare yourself for further interviews.
If you’re not tech savvy it may seem quite daunting the idea of an skype or zoom interview. However, with our interactive interview advice we hope to help you prepare should you have one lined up!