Going for an interview can be a very nerve-wracking time. What to wear, what to say and the dreaded "do you have any questions?!"

Here at Cobham Consulting we can give you some great insight tips and advice, so you will feel confident to nail an interview and get your dream job.

 

So, what to wear?

Making a good first impression is vital, no matter what role you are applying for. Being smart at an interview is essential. If you are dressed well, you will instantly give a positive impression. Being ‘interview smart’ will help you get into an interview mind-set and will give you a boost of confidence to succeed at the interview.

Gentlemen, you should be business smart, this includes a smart shirt, tie, clean polished shoes and a well-fitted suit. 

Ladies, you should be dressed smart and professional. A business suit, office skirt/trousers with a formal shirt, or an office-smart dress. 

If you are a smoker, we appreciate you will be nervous but try not to have a cigarette right before you go into the interview, if the office is a non-smoking office it will be very noticeable. If you need to smoke beforehand, take some mints with you.

Lastly, and it may seem obvious but always get rid of your chewing gum before going into an interview, this can be very off putting to an employer.

 

What to expect?

All companies have different interviewing techniques but the one thing they all expect is for you to have an in-depth knowledge of the company. The more you know about the company the better impression you will make and the more enthusiastic you will come across.  
A few key tips are:

 

Be Prepared!

Always be punctual, make sure you have the correct time and day for interview and always arrive around 10 - 15 minutes early. If they have asked you to supply your CV, a covering letter or examples of work make sure you have it with you. Forgetting these things will be the difference between you and someone else getting the job.

If the employer requires you to sit a test either before or during the interview, please revise for it. Some tests can be timed, others only allow a single submission so do your research; brush up on your skills; practice potential questions; and above all don't rush it, the results count!

Passion

Nearly all our clients ask for someone who is passionate about the role, be it by the industry or through enthusiasm for the role itself and company. The key to a good interview is to listen. Make sure you listen to the questions and answer accordingly, try not to go off on a tangent.

How can you stand out from the crowd?

Ask appropriate questions, go the extra mile with your research and don't forget to maintain eye contact and smile.

 

Typical questions companies ask

Prepare yourself for typical interview questions, it will help you combat the nerves and appear more confident in the interview.

1. Why would you want to work for the company?

You want to link your answers to the key points on the website and job spec. Are they well established? Have they won any awards? What industry do they work in? Have you worked in a similar industry previously? How can you link your transferable skills to this role?

2. Tell me a bit about yourself?

Here you want to talk about your skills and any successes you've had in previous roles. It is always good to speak about your career aspirations and how you wish to develop in the company. 

3. What skills can you bring to the company + your strengths and weaknesses
It's time to shine...

Everybody says they are organised, punctual and a team player, these are standard answers. Be different and stand out from the crowd by relating your skills to actual experiences. 
Try to link what you are saying to the job spec to emphasise you are what the company are looking for. Know your weaknesses, areas of improvement and work to your strengths. 

4. Do you have any questions?

Towards the end of the interview, usually employers ask you if you have any questions. ALWAYS have at least one question to ask, you may think of some as you go along but just in case have one you can fall back on, some of the following have been a known favourite:

5. Will I be working within a team?

If so, can you tell me a bit about them

Finding out early on if you're going to be working with a good team is essential. Is it a lively team or is it perhaps quiet, this can help you with decide if this is the right role for you.

So, there you have it, a quick guide to a good interview. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact one of the team