Interview Tips & Advice
Your Lipson Lloyd-Jones consultant will assist you with most aspects of preparation, but you should still do your homework! We will confirm that you know the time and place of the interview. Allow plenty of time to get there. It is important that you know who will be interviewing you, their job title and function. We will endeavour to give you a sense the likely flavour and format of the interview.
Research your interviewer. We will tell you everything we know about him/her, but a Google search is highly recommended. Likewise, we will provide you with as much information and insight into the firm/organization interviewing you as we can, but use your own research to complete the picture. If they have a website, make sure you read it. Make yourself aware of their specialisms, client base and recent important work. Trade publications might also be useful. If you know people who have worked for them or know your interviewer(s), mine them for information. Employers will be impressed (and flattered) if you have taken the time and trouble to find out about them.
The First Impression
They say people make up their minds within the first five seconds. This is not always the case, but how you look and come across from the moment you first meet is key. Dress smartly, polish your shoes and make sure you’re as well groomed as possible. A firm handshake and an engaging smile are important, but avoid over-familiarity.
LLJ will provide you with a copy of the CV we have prepared. Make sure you know it backwards! You will need to explain dates, details, work experience, choices and more. But don’t forget that, while you are selling yourself, the interviewer is also selling his/her organization to you. You should therefore question the interviewer about the role, career development and corporate philosophy to ensure that they suit you as well.
- Maintain eye contact at all times. Do not fidget. Body language is important – mirroring your interviewer’s movements/reactions is an old but effective technique.
- Don't waffle. Be to the point and answer questions succinctly.
- Never criticise your current employer. Your reason for wanting to leave should be about career progression.
- If you have been made redundant, don't dress it up. Honesty is a vital quality.
- Avoid yes/no answers.
- Show enthusiasm for the role but avoid appearing desperate or obsequious.
- Avoid salary in the first interview unless expressly asked. We will assist yuou with this issue when the time comes,
- Make sure you can support/back up any points you raise.
- Respect the interviewer regardless of their position.
- Be yourself but always be professional, friendly and to the point. They need to be confident that you will work well within their existing framework and get on with clients.
Questions You Might Be Asked
This is not a comprehensive or universal list. Some, none or all of these questions may be raised. Try and anticipate/prepare for similar:
- Why do you want to leave your current employer?
- Why do you want to join us?
- What has been your greatest success in your current position?
- What have you learnt over the course of the last 5 years?
- What have you done that shows initiative in your current position?
- How would your boss or colleagues describe you?
- What are your career objectives? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Have you had management responsibilities? If so, describe your duties and approach?
- Can you delegate? Give examples.
- Talk about a particularly complex or difficult task and how you handled it.
- How will your current employer react when you resign?
Questions You Might Ask
Remember, don’t throw these in without good reason or without framing them in a manner which follows on naturally from your discussion. An experienced interviewer will spot a prepared or pat question a mile off.
- Why are you looking to fill this role?
- Do you offer ongoing training/development schemes? CPD?
- What type of employee is historically successful in your firm/company?
- How do you appraise employee performance?
- What plans do you have for growth/development in the future?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What are my long term prospects if I join?
- Ask about the interviewer about him/herself.
Contact us for more helpful advice.