Sub Banner Default Image


12 months ago by Elk Recruitment
Job Interview I
Preparing For a Job Interview
Introduction to the topic

Candidate job interviews are a mainstay of the recruitment process but not everyone is equipped to perform well in them. This is Part I of three Elk Recruitment blogs to try to help candidates understand the process and lead them to successful outcomes. Part II will deal with the interview itself and Part III with the post-interview process.

Thoughts and feelings

One of the most difficult areas for candidates to deal with is nervousness. This is perfectly understandable but be assured that most candidates are affected in this way, not just you! So, when you attend for the interview and see other candidates waiting there, don’t be thrown if they look quite confident and remember, internally, they are probably feeling just like you.

Response and confirmation

When you receive an offer of a job interview, be sure to respond and confirm that you will attend it. Note the date, time, and location where it will take place, and make sure that you are clear on all of the details. If the interview is in a different town or city to where you reside, check out how long it will take to get there, and remember to allow for traffic hold ups and other contingencies, e.g. a flat tyre.

Research is key!

One of the main tasks to do in preparation for an interview is to research the company you have applied to. This will help to familiarise you with the firm’s current and past projects, areas of expertise, company culture, and notable achievements. It will prepare you for likely questions during the interview, allowing you to be more relaxed during the process.

Make a connection

During the interview, it will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are interested in the company and understand its culture. While having the skills and experience required for the role is vital, it is equally important for the company to know that you will fit in well with those who already work there.

This research will also allow you to prepare important questions to ask in relation to the company, its history, values, current projects, and other items of interest. Examples of this are:

·         The company has recently moved to a new premises

·         A new CEO has been appointed

·         A prominent project has been secured

·         The company has given sponsorship to a local organisation

·         Any other items about the company that you consider to be interesting

You can also use your interests and volunteerism to make a connection with the interviewer. For example, if you are a golfer and the firm had recently held a Golf Classic fundraiser, you could use this information to form a link during the interview.


Technical aspects

It is crucial that you understand the job requirements that apply to the role. Study the job description and make sure you have a clear understanding of the skills, qualifications, and experience required for the job. Write down specific examples from your past experiences that highlight your suitability for the position and memorise them.

Practical advice

Take note of how your skills and accomplishments align with the job’s requirements, and how you can use them to contribute to the company's success. It’s unlikely that you or any of the other candidates will have all of the criteria listed in the job description, so don’t be nervous if you are short some of the skills or experiences sought by the company. Remember, it’s the overall package that’s important to the interviewer.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect as the saying goes! Learn some of the common interview questions, both technical and behavioural, and practice answering them. This will help you to build confidence and articulate your thoughts effectively. Prepare concise yet detailed responses that showcase your skills, accomplishments, and problem-solving abilities. Consider conducting mock interviews with a friend or family member to simulate the actual interview experience and receive feedback.

Ready, steady…

Finally, when the moment comes, try to relax, and give it your best shot!