17 August 2023

Ace that Interview!

Career Advice

Fantastic! You have an interview for your perfect job, well done!

Yet as the big day draws near, you turn into a bag of nerves. Will they like me? How many people am I up against? Can I even do this job?

Firstly, reaching interview stage means they’re already interested in you. So, here are our eight top job interview tips, use them wisely…

How to Ace a Job Interview

1) Research the company – no, really

This is interview prep for beginners; everyone knows they should research the company. However, not everyone does. Our recruiters have known plenty of candidates who said they’d looked at the website, but when probed, couldn’t come up with a single detail.

Soak up as much information as you can. Learn about the company’s products, services and customers. Check out and follow their social media channels. Search for company news on Google. Perhaps even learn a little about your interviewer if they have a profile on the site. This is important, basic stuff. It shows that you’re serious about the role and can also help you come up with some questions to ask at the end of the interview.

2) Prep with your recruitment consultant

A good recruitment agency consultant will offer to help you prep for your interview, so don’t be unavailable. Remember, they are the experts and have probably placed people in that company before, so have some insight. If you have any areas of concern, you can talk them through, even role play, with your consultant. Use their knowledge to your advantage!

3) Get in the right mindset

Positivity is both infectious and hard to resist – as our good friend and recruitment legend, Randy Moore says: “Who’s going dislike someone who really wants your job?”

If you can go into the interview radiating enthusiasm and confidence, then you’re already half way there. Tell yourself that this is your job and no one’s going to take it from you. It sounds cheesy, but you’d be surprised how much simply being in the right frame of mind can impact the outcome of, well, anything.

Explore phone interview top tips.

4) Practise your answers

Interviews can take many different forms, but arguably the most common type is competency-based, where the interviewer determines whether you have the right skills by asking for specific examples. Your recruitment consultant and/or the job description should tell you what competencies (or behaviours, i.e. technical, influencing, relationship-building, etc.) they are looking for. Expect questions like: “Can you tell me about a time when you had to…?” Ensure you have examples for each competency, so that the interviewers can clearly see that your skills and experience matches what they’re looking for.

5) Be a STAR

It’s so easy to ramble and go off-piste when you’re answering interview questions, so here’s a technique to help you answer more precisely: STAR. Start with the Situation: “We were launching a new product”, then describe your Task: “I had to oversee the software design”. Next, talk about the Action you took: “I researched tested and developed…” and finally talk about the Result: “The product launched without a hitch and the software actually improved the original plans,” etc.

Incidentally, it’s usually acceptable to bring your prep notes to the interview, so that if your mind does go blank, you can quickly pick up again. Plus it shows the interviewers how much work you did in advance.

6) Be honest about salary expectations

This is always, without doubt, an awkward question. The good thing about going through a recruitment agency is that your consultant will handle all of this for you. They will have told the hiring managers your expectations when putting you forward for interview, so you shouldn’t have to worry. If they do ask, stick with what you told your consultant – it shouldn’t come as a surprise to them.

If you haven’t used an agency, we suggest being honest. State that you know the salary range and would naturally like the top end, but are flexible to an extent as it’s such a good opportunity.

7) Always ask questions

An interview is a two-way process, it’s meant to be a conversation which also gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the company, so ask plenty of questions. Here are a few good ones:

– What would my first month in the role look like?
– What are the biggest challenges facing the company this year?
– What do you like about working here?
– Are there any concerns about me that you’d like me to address?

The last question in particular is effective, as it allows the interviewers to bring up any little niggling doubts, such as could you face the commute?, and lets you answer them there and then, thus putting you right back in the game again.

Learn further about questions to ask your employer in an interview.

8) Call your consultant

The interview’s over; you can breathe. Now ring your consultant and tell them how it went. This is important as they’re likely to speak with the hiring managers, so need to have your feedback in advance. They can also answer any questions you may have, i.e. when might you hear anything? Commit to calling your consultant so that they can continue to help you.

There you go – eight top interview tips. We haven’t mentioned getting a good night’s sleep, ironing your best interview outfit and planning your travel to ensure you arrive on time, as you know all that.  However, if you do have questions that haven’t been covered, let us know via our social channels: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and we’ll do our best to answer.

Common Interview Questions

In a job interview, certain questions are frequently asked across industries and roles to gauge the candidate’s suitability for the position. Preparing for these common interview questions can significantly boost your chances of success. Here are five questions you should be ready to answer:

1. Tell me about yourself: This question is often used as an icebreaker. Keep your response concise, highlighting key aspects of your professional background, skills, and accomplishments. Focus on how your experience aligns with the role you’re applying for.

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?: Be honest about your strengths, emphasising those that are relevant to the job. When discussing weaknesses, present them as areas for improvement and demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow.

3. Why do you want this job?: Showcase your enthusiasm for the company and position. Research the organisation beforehand to mention specific reasons why you believe you’re a great fit.

4. Describe a challenging situation you’ve faced at work and how you handled it: Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your response. Focus on how you overcame the challenge and what you learned from the experience.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?: Demonstrate your ambition and alignment with the company’s long-term goals. Showcase your desire to grow within the organisation and make a meaningful impact.

Remember, preparation is key. Practice answering these questions beforehand, and tailor your responses to highlight your unique skills and experiences. Confidence, clarity, and a positive attitude will help you shine during the interview and make a lasting impression on the hiring team.

Why Choose Us?

At ARM, we understand the significance of securing your dream job and the challenges that come with the job-seeking process. As a leading recruitment agency with years of experience, we stand out for several compelling reasons:

1. Expertise: Our team of seasoned recruiters possesses extensive knowledge across various industries and job sectors. We leverage this expertise to identify the best job opportunities tailored to your unique skills and preferences.

2. Personalised Guidance: We believe in forging strong connections with our candidates. Our personalised approach ensures that we understand your career aspirations, strengths, and areas for development, allowing us to guide you effectively through every step of the job search.

3. Vast Network: ARM has developed an extensive network of top employers and companies, giving you access to a diverse range of job openings. This network allows us to match you with employers that align with your professional goals.

4. Interview Preparation: Our dedication to your success goes beyond connecting you with job openings. We provide comprehensive interview preparation, offering valuable tips, insights, and mock interviews to boost your confidence and performance during the real interview.

5. Long-term Support: Our commitment to your career doesn’t end after you secure a job. We maintain long-term relationships with our candidates, ensuring ongoing support and assistance to help you excel in your chosen role.

6. Confidentiality: We understand the importance of privacy in job-seeking endeavours. Rest assured, all your personal information and job search details are treated with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

Choosing ARM means entrusting your career goals to a dedicated team that will be with you every step of the way. Let us guide you towards a successful and rewarding professional journey.

Contact us now.

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