Interview Tips

The secret to interview success

To help you maximise your chances for success we have put together our top 5 interview tips:

  1. Prepare for your interview: dress smart, plan your journey and what to take, do your research and prepare questions to ask.
  2. Re-read your CV and be prepared to go through your career history in detail focusing on your key achievements.
  3. Be positive and ready to answer questions regarding your motivations to join the new company.
  4. Don't discuss salary at this stage, leave that to us to ensure you get the best offer.
  5. Close the interview by giving positive feedback on how you feel about the role/company and ask when you will hear back from them.

For more tips and advice speak to a Faststream consultant. You can also read or download our full guide to interview success below.

Guide to Interview Success.

Your Guide to Interview Success

Congratulations on reaching this important stage in the recruitment process.  As specialists in recruitment we have created some pointers to help you maximise your chances for success.

Before the interview

Dress code First impressions count so dress smartly and to impress.
Plan your journey time Check train/tube/bus times, parking facilities, length of journey, allow for delays etc.
What to take Take your CV and portfolio (if you have one), prepared questions, proof of identification, professional references and copies of qualifications, training and memberships.  If you have no references to take, ensure to line up two referees as these will be required prior to commencement of employment. 
Re-read your CV and the job description Only when we are job hunting do we update our CV so familiarise yourself with what you have written. Don’t get caught out with questions about your details that you cannot remember.
Research Ask yourself “What do I know already about the organisation?” Gain an overview with easily obtainable information: e.g. company structure, key people, core business areas, locations, company values, interesting news articles etc. Invest time here and it will pay off dividends.

During the interview

Questions Good questions share understanding, help to clarify and can “pass the ball” over to the interviewer. They also show you are professional, prepared and mean business!  The interview should be a two-way forum.
Rates Do not discuss rates, advise that Faststream are handling this for you.
Be open and honest Answer all questions honestly but in the best, most positive light. For example, explain how you overcame a problem or difficulty rather than just what the problem actually was. Too many people are over-critical of their current / previous employer(s) and set alarm bells ringing in the interviewers mind.  Do not bad mouth old employers!
Body language Good eye contact, a firm handshake and a nice smile will send out a positive and open approach. If you have more than one interviewer ensure you engage and deliver your questions, answers and gestures to all.
Winning edges The crucial thing is communicating enthusiastically that you really want the job! “…I can tell you now that based on what I’ve heard today I could see myself working for you….” Reinforce by offering a possible start date
Fear-of-loss During the final closes of the interview it’s good practice to communicate any other opportunities you are exploring so that your interviewers can empathise with your decision making process. The fact that you are pursuing other opportunities may affect the speed with which a decision is made – they don’t want to lose you to a competitor!
Closing the interview Close the interview with the following question: “If I am successful, what will the next stage in the process be and when would I hear something?”

After the interview

Don’t assume the interview is over just because you have left the building e.g. don’t light up a cigarette or take off your tie as soon as you get out of the door.

The client will have arranged a debrief call with Faststream shortly after the interview, it is important that we speak with you prior to our client to express your interest in the role, therefore please call as soon as you have left the building. Follow up with thank you emails to everyone you met at the interview, copying in your consultant.

Phone interviews

If you have a telephone interview speak to your consultant to get advice on how best to build relationships over the phone. Ensure that you find somewhere private and quiet to be able to do the interview. You should also make sure you have enough battery on your mobile phone; you don’t want your phone to cut out mid-interview! If you find your line is bad you should re-arrange the call or we can do this for you.

Next steps

If you’re successful you need to consider your next steps; your resignation and possible counter-offer. In this difficult transitional time it’s rarely a good idea to accept a counter-offer and stay where you are. Speak to your consultant who will be able to guide you through this process.

If you have any concerns prior to your interview please speak to your Faststream consultant who will be able to advise you further. Good luck with your interview and we look forward to speaking with you afterwards.