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Prepare to be successful in an interview

Posted by: Ruth McKinney
15/11/18

At WRS we work hard to find opportunities with great employers to match our candidates’ skills, expertise and career aspirations. Once we have found a great match and our candidate has been successfully taken to interview stage, our coaching work begins. At this point we use our extensive industry knowledge and long-term relationships with our clients to coach our candidates to make sure that they always have the competitive edge that they need to succeed. Our team has developed the following interview advice to help you with your preparation.

Research 

Carrying out research on the company that you are going to meet works to your advantage on several levels. You will learn more about the projects that the company has been involved in, ethics and attitude, company culture and future strategy. This can reinforce that you are a good fit for the company and that it meets your long-term career plans. Furthermore, you will feel confident that you are going into an interview situation armed with lots of useful information, which you can draw upon to give a confident performance. The more information you have about an employer, the more you can engage with your interviewer and this will reflect well on you. Doing your research demonstrates that you have invested time and effort into learning about the company, which is a big plus to a prospective employer. 
Where to look for information
Start with the company website. On there you will find information about the history of the company and the team that you could be joining. Look for recent press releases to find out about news that is important to the organisation. There will be valuable information on who started the company and why, how the company has developed and its values. Look at blogs and case studies discussing past projects and successes. Follow links to official social media channels as these will contain current news and opinion from your prospective employer. Scan trade publications and websites for mentions of the company so you have an understanding about wider industry opinion on the company and its standing and its influence on the market.

Logistics 

Establish the structure of the interview that you’re attending, so that you can prepare accordingly for an informal chat, a formal Q&A, a panel or a presentation. If your interview is face-to-face you will need to look smart and feel comfortable, plan what you are going to wear in advance, so that your chosen clothes are freshly laundered, ironed or dry cleaned. Make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination. If you arrive too early, avoid going straight in, go for a coffee or a walk instead. Use the time to do some last-minute preparation and to calm your nerves. For telephone interviews, make sure that you are somewhere quiet and have access to a clear and reliable land phone line, or a strong mobile signal. If you’re using a web conference format such as Skype, make sure that you are familiar with the signing in process and the technology you need to join. Give yourself at least 10 minutes to sign in, you can use the extra time to get your notes and CV in order, so that you are ready to start your call promptly and calmly.

Question preparation

While it’s impossible to be prepared for every eventuality, using your research and knowing the format of your interview can help you narrow down the type of questions that an interviewer is likely to ask you. Most interviewers will be interested in getting to know you better, discussing your previous experience and learning more about your skills and career aspirations. Using this knowledge, you can formulate some likely questions. Expect some questions to be competency-based, where you will be asked to include real-life examples of your experience and skills. To help you with this type of question, review your CV, highlight your key achievements familiarise yourself with how you approached them. 

To get you started, here are some commonly asked questions: 

What is it that interested you in applying for a position with this company?
Have you come across a situation like this? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
What do you feel are your greatest achievements to date?
What interests you most about this job?
What salary are you looking for? (make sure that you have done some industry research on current salary levels for your job role within your industry).

Questions to ask the Interviewer

Think about questions you want to ask about the organisation and about the position you are interviewing for. Asking your interviewer/s several insightful questions will really make you stand out from other candidates. Your research will help you to formulate these, but you can use the following to get you started: 

What prospects are there for my personal and professional development?
What do you like best about working here?
What are your goals for the department? The team? The company?

Practice makes perfect

Our recruiters are always on hand to coach you before your interviews! We can support you by conducting mock interviews and reviewing your research and the questions you’re planning to ask. You could also practice your interview technique with friends and family. Ask them to test your responses to the questions that you have prepared, so that you can practice and perfect your responses.

WRS is a global workforce solutions and manpower mobilisation company, operating in the energy, maritime, construction, mining and commodities industries. If you are considering your next move you can contact one of our consultants, or you can register your details, send us your CV or just take a look at our latest vacancies

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