Interview Tips – Find your next role

  • Posted by: Alexander Daniels
  • 31 January 2018

Before your interview you may be feeling nervous and not sure what to expect, this is perfectly fine as the fear of unknown is a common one! All you need to do is to understand how to prepare yourself and you will be able to get through it with no issues.

Once you have been invited in for an interview the best thing to do is to research a little about the company and familiarise yourself with the sort of work they do, their main business ideas and find some niche information about them that shows you have looked hard to find out about them. The easiest way to do this is to look through the company’s blog posts/news articles. They may have held an event raising money for a charity that you also support. It is always a good idea to be personal with the company as your skills will highlight from your passions.

The night before

Remember during exams when you would cram in revision on the night before? This is key to make sure you have all your last-minute questions and answers ready. It is never a good idea to sound robotic but key words will remind you of the things you would like to say. An interviewer could ask where do you see yourself in 5 years, this is both a great question and has a lot more behind it than you might think. With this question they are sussing out your longevity within the company it is a good idea at this stage to broaden on your skills, such as I am excited to grow within the business and to learn my way up to support both the team here and to support myself at home in regard to family life. This not only shows your motivation but also you how you are willing to push yourself.

Interview time

Of course, with every industry each interview can go slightly differently especially here at Alexander Daniels where our specialised teams recruit for not just HR, Legal and Finance staff but also Engineers as well! It is best to ask when you get the call how their interview process works so you can prepare yourself accordingly. Some interviews especially within the professional services team will require you to have an interview with their hiring manager/your line manager and then to have a potential second interview with a director.

To settle your nerves, it is best to get up early to have a relax before and to plan your route. It is vital that you give off the best impression that you can. Most employers when asked frowned upon someone who arrived at their interview smelling like smoke

It is always best practice to arrive at your interview no earlier than 10 minutes before your interview and never later! This is to show that you are not only prepared but can also follow basic instruction and meet time deadlines.

Once you arrive the best way to announce yourself at your interview would be to speak to reception or announce yourself as “John Smith” here to see “hiring managers name” always make sure you are polite to everyone in the building they could be your new colleagues. When waiting for your interview it is a good idea not to sit on your phone. Before entry to the building would be the best time to put your phone on silent to avoid any interruptions as some companies have a strict no phone policy due to confidentiality.

It’s time

Now you are sat in front of your potential new boss. Don’t panic! Your preparations will help conversation to flow, just relax you have this covered.

Most employers will start with an introduction to the company and its good to make a mental note of anything they mention that you hadn’t found out on your own. Once they have given you a brief overview they will more than likely have a set of questions prepared to find out more about your skills and the way you conduct yourself under pressure. Below is a list of common questions:

List 3 strengths you have

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Tell me about your weaknesses

These common questions may seem mundane and as though they are not necessary for your future job, but they are! Listing 3 strengths can be easy but expanding on the reasons your strengths will benefit the company is where you will exceed in the company’s eyes. With weaknesses this is always a tricky question to answer if you turn around to a company and say your time keeping is atrocious this will not put you in the best of lights. The best way to answer a question like this is to make it into a positive. You could say that you work yourself too hard on occasion and sacrifice social time. This shows you can be committed to the company and would be happy to help out outside of work hours to meet deadlines.

The best answer for any negative questions is to try and make it into a positive.

90% of employers if not all will ask if you have any questions at the end of your interview. This is a good time to remember the company brief to ask for example their amazing team bonding activities on their website as you think it’s a nice incentive for all involved. This will show you payed attention to their company brief and focussed throughout the whole interview.

It is always a touchy subject to ask outright how much will I be paid but you can skirt around this by asking how there pay packet is put together is there a bonus scheme for high achievers this shows you are interested in earning your money and not averse to working hard for them.

Once you have finished asking questions and have left the interview you may have other questions pop into your head make a note of these and make sure you know your timing on the call back, so you know when to expect the call and when to chase if you haven’t heard anything, you want to seem keen but not too pushy.

The wait and… Finally, the end

Whether you get a good call back after your interview or they call to give bad news it is always good to get some feedback, this could be just a pit to the post by another candidate who fit slightly better. The employer will be able to give you some positive criticism regarding how you interviewed it will give you both the confidence to keep looking as well as to give you hints and tips for next time.

Remember this is not the be all and end all of interview techniques but it may give you a few more hints and tips on your interviewing strategies.


People hire People

This is always a good motto to go by as you will be spending a lot of time with your managers and work colleagues. It is a well-known fact that people leave managers more often than leaving the actual job role.