No matter what level you're working at, interviews can be a daunting experience! You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
It’s a real skill to give the interviewer the right balance between information and passion in your short time with them. However, good preparation will help to calm your nerves and hopefully take some of the pain out of the process.
Over the last few years Hampton’s Resourcing have supported numerous senior managers and directors through the interview process. Whether it’s an interview for your dream job in a local authority or a short-term challenging interim assignment within a private organisation, our consultants have the experience of working with candidates at all levels and will be able to confidentially support your preparation.
If you're lacking recent interview experience or just feel you need some extra help, our team can work with you on a bespoke project to ensure you're well rehearsed, feeling confident and ready for any eventuality that could arise during the interview.
Through our vast network of contacts in local authorities, charities, and the private sector we are confident we can draw on these relationships to further enhance your interview preparation and give you the confidence that you're correctly answering (and asking) the right questions.
Remember, an interview is a two way process and you're assessing the hirer as much as they're assessing you.
Very few individuals accept every job they're offered, and even fewer still are offered every role they're interviewed for.
Interviews should be seen as part of your professional development, so try to take a positive experience from the process.
- Switch off your mobile before the interview.
- Make sure you know exactly where you're going and always plan to be 10 – 15 minutes early. If something unexpected happens and you're going to be late, always phone ahead to ensure the interviewer is aware.
- Don't use too much perfume/aftershave. Avoid cigarette smoke, etc.
- Know the interviewer's full name and the correct pronunciation of their title. Always ask at reception if you're unsure.
- Dress smartly and comfortably. It’s always better to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed. A good first impression is always important.
- Ensure you have a detailed understanding of the position you are being interviewed for, the outcomes you would be expected to deliver upon, type of service and number of staff you'll potentially be managing.
- Research common sector related interview questions and practice your answers.
- Research the local authority or organisation by reading any recent Ofsted or CQC reports. Understand the organisation's services, size, location(s), financial situation and current managerial structure.
- Prepare a number of specific examples from your CV / background that are directly relevant to the position you are being interviewed for and use these to demonstrate your ability to do the job.
- Refresh your memory in relation to your last 5 years of employment history. Pay particular attention to how you would describe your most important achievements.
- Prepare (in advance) a number of questions you will ask during and at the end of the interview.
- Bring your CV and a pen and paper with you to take notes. It will show enthusiasm and your interest in the role.
- Bring copies of any recent references you feel would enhance your chances of being offered the role.
- Ensure you use positive and friendly body language when meeting your interviewer. Try to maintain a level of eye contact throughout the interview and speak clearly at all times.
- Shake hands firmly and smile. If you look confident and friendly, you’ll appear that way – even if you don’t feel it.
- Make sure you convey your good points factually and sincerely. Keep in mind that you alone can sell yourself to an interviewer. Make them realise why they need you in their organisation.
- When asked about your strengths, make sure they are relevant to the position you are interviewing for.
- Explain your answers whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give detailed examples. Avoid answering questions with a simple "yes" or "no."
- Speak positively about your previous employers or managers.
- Avoid controversial jokes during an interview. A sense of humour is important - however, if in doubt don’t tell any jokes.
- Answer questions truthfully and as factually as possible.
- Don't 'over-answering' questions. It's best to answer questions honestly, saying no more than necessary.
- Avoid discussing personal issues or family problems during a first interview.
- Showing an interest in and passion for the position you are being interviewed for and selling yourself to the interviewer. No matter how qualified you are for the position, this is important.
- Avoiding showing disappointment. The interviewer can sometimes act discouraged in order to test your reaction. If you get the impression the interview is not going well, keep going!
- Asking for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
- Avoiding slouching, fidgeting, or yawning while being interviewed. Don’t chew gum or bring food or drink into an interview.