1. Plan your journey and be on time
With applications such as Google Street View, getting lost looking for a building is a thing of the past. Instead of potentially being late for your interview, find out more in advance where the location is and arrive on time with no added stress! Asking your contact in advance about car parking may help with this.
2. Do your research
If you get sent any information ahead of the interview – be sure to read it. You should also visit the company’s website so you can learn about them as well as the sector/part of the business you’re interviewing for. Remember, this isn’t a memory test, so feel free to write some prompts in your notebook, but don’t read it like a script.
3. Presentation is key
Dressing smartly still helps to create to left first impression, as does making eye contact and shaking hands confidently. When your role involves meeting internal or external stakeholders, a great way of getting them to have faith in you in your new position is to be confident enough to say hello and introducing yourself.
If you are doing a virtual interview, dressing smartly is still important, also think about the background, is it professional and clean, have you got enough light so the interviewer can see your face?
4. Grab a notebook and pen
Bring along a notebook to make notes, not only does this show the interviewer you are taking on board information, but it also lets your review your notes later.
5. Don’t be negative about your previous employers
When you’re asked why you are looking to move, avoid negative remarks about your current or ex-employer, even if they did make your life difficult. You need to show your ability to take responsibility and not your negativity. Be honest, but don’t be rude.
6. Engage and ask questions
Whilst an interview is mainly employer-led, you should also use it as an opportunity to get some answers. Probe into areas you believe are essential for your long-term goals. This approach shows your ambition and interest. Don’t be tempted to ask about sick pay at first stage interviews, as this can send the wrong message, ask separately. Don’t be afraid to discuss salary and package.
Competency Based Interview
The STAR interview technique offers a straightforward format you can use to answer competency based interview questions—those prompts that ask you to provide a real-life example of how you handled a certain kind of situation at work in the past.
Don’t worry—these questions are easy to recognize. They often have tell-tale openings like:
- Tell me about a time when…
- What do you do when…
- Have you ever…
- Give me an example of…
- Describe a…
Thinking of a fitting example for your response is just the beginning. Then you also need to share the details in a compelling and easy-to-understand way—without endless rambling.
That’s exactly what the STAR interview method enables you to do. “It’s helpful because it provides a simple framework for helping a you tell a meaningful story about a previous work experience.
So, let’s break down that framework. STAR is an acronym that stands for:
Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
By using these four components to shape your anecdote, it’s much easier to share a focused answer, providing the interviewer with a digestible but compelling narrative of what you did. We can follow along, but also determine based on the answer how well you might fit with the job.
If you’re struggling during your interview to come up with an example that fits, don’t be afraid to ask to take a minute. We’re always impressed when a candidate asks for a moment to think so that they can provide a good answer.