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You have a set amount of time to make a strong, positive impression and to give an accurate account of your relevant professional experience, ability and personality attributes.

Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you will add value to their team/ organisation. You may have entered the room as one of a number of candidates the interviewer is seeing, but you want to leave the interview as the one who stands out as the best person for the job!
The information below is a brief guide – we can provide more comprehensive guides for CV- based, competency-based and phone interviews, on request.

Basic information you will need
The address where the interview will take place
The name(s) and position(s) of the interviewer(s)
The specific role for which you are being interviewed (you should have a job specification wherever possible)
The style and duration of the interview
A contact telephone number in case you are running late (this may be someone in the organisation where you are being interviewed or your recruitment consultant)

Your experience in relation to the role
Review any documents supplied by AA (job specification, group/ team structures etc)
Review your CV and identify the experience you have that is most relevant to the role for which you are interviewing
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Think of aspects you enjoy about your current role
Think of aspects you find frustrating
If the interview is competency-based, prepare relevant examples to demonstrate your experience and personality traits

The company
Get hold of the annual report and accounts and become familiar with their structure/ performance/ strategy
Look at their website
Do a press search on their current/ recent affairs
Prepare some questions to ask, as this is a two way process

Be aware of the following:
Who is the company owned by?
Is the organisation private or public?
Is it part of a group - what subsidiaries are there?
Who are their competitors?
What services or products does the firm offer?
What growth have they shown recently, what potential/ strategy is there for future growth?

The Interview
Appearance/ body language
Dress smartly and professionally
Walk into the room with confidence, however nervous you really feel
Shake hands firmly with the interviewer(s) when introduced and again on departure
Be polite at all times
Sit up straight and maintain good eye contact throughout
Try and remember to smile!

Interview technique
Avoid over familiarity but do try and get a rapport going
Be positive but not overconfident
Try to convey your enthusiasm for the role and the organisation
Show that you have made the effort to research the organisation
Listen to the interviewer and don’t interrupt when he or she is speaking
If a question is ambiguous, ask the interviewer to clarify
Try and give evidence to back up answers
Avoid slang and stalling with words such as repeating “like”, “basically” etc.

Possible questions you may be asked
We can discuss this in more detail at interview stage, but some general examples follow. Remember to try and back up answers with evidence whether the interview is competency-based or not.
Why are you interested in this role?
What do you know about us/ the role?
What do you like/ what frustrates you about your current role?
What have been your main achievements?
What hours do you work?
How much travel is there in your current role?
How do you see your career progressing?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What drives you?
Why do you want to leave your current role? (don’t be too negative about your current/ previous employer(s))
What other opportunities are you looking at just now?
What supervisory experience do you have? Is it assignment-based or full annual appraisal responsibility?
How do you react under pressure?
Why should we hire you?

If the interview is competency-based, the employer is looking for evidence to support specific competencies they have identified as being important to the role. We provide you personally with comprehensive guidance should you be offered a CB Interview with a client. The questions take the format of “Give me an example of a situation where….”, “Tell me when you had to….” or “How would you react to...”

Typical competencies may include negotiation, leadership skills, influencing, teamwork to attain goals, information gathering, time management, relationship building, customer service, achieving excellence, problem solving, decision making and communication skills.

Your questions
Good questions include:
Why has this position arisen?
What attracted you to join the organisation?
What training and development is on offer with the role?
What are the prospects with the role?
What are the future plans for the department/ company? 

Questions to avoid, if you want the job!:
Will I have to work overtime?
What was the bonus last year?
When can I expect promotion?
What salary are you looking to offer?
Can I buy more holidays?
What is your disciplinary procedure?
How much notice do I have to give if I leave?

Closing the meeting
Ask if they have any more questions
Ask what the next step in the process is
Thank them for their time
Shake hands again
Remain positive, however you felt you performed in the interview