If your CV shows us that you could possibly perform the role that we are currently looking to appoint, you will almost certainly be asked to attend an interview. The days of “give me your strengths and weaknesses” are over. We will be looking for specific information that shows us that you have done some research in the role and that you can either hit the ground running or soon get up to speed.
You can help yourself here by:
- Finding out about the organisation that we are appointing for. If there is one, you should at least read the recruitment website as thoroughly as possible. Isolate the issues that the organisation is facing. If there isn’t a specific recruitment website, look at the organisation’s main website. Are there other websites that reference the organisation? What do they say? Are you in the sector yourself? If you are, do you have contacts that could give you information? If you are invited to call the organisation, do so, they might be willing to give you a head start on the issues that are being faced and an idea of where they are planning to take the organisation.
- Reading more about the sector the organisation is in – educational, government, private, charity, etc. What are the current issues in that sector? What is your opinion of these issues? How would you tackle them? The worst thing you can say in an interview is “I’m sorry, I haven’t looked at that.” Give yourself a chance.
- Finding out where the office is and how to get there. Take a map with you and annotated it if necessary.
- Looking smart. Though we hardly need tell you that.
- Turning up on time. Try not to be more than 10 minutes early as that can almost be as bad as being late. If you are late, call the contact number as soon as this becomes apparent to see if you can rearrange your interview time.
- Once in the interview, try to relax and see it as a conversation. Yes, easier said than done, but the interviewers aren’t there to catch you out as a matter of course. They just want to see if you can do the job.
- If you feel that you haven’t answered a question properly, don’t compound the error by trying to cover it up. Tell us that you have made a mistake and then give us your answer again. Try not to do this too often!
- Feel free to ask for a glass of water if you need one.