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Interview Advice: Cover the basics - prepare to succeed

Interview Advice: Cover the basics - prepare to succeed

Tue 05 Nov 2013

So you’ve been told that you have an interview for a dream job with a great company. What do you do first?

If you want to amaze your potential employer with your skills and experience, you might want to first consider a few simple key steps to proving your worth, no matter what your level is.

The more you put in, the more you get out

It may seem obvious but preparation really is the key to a successful interview.

We recommend that you take time to think about the reasons why you have chosen to leave your current job and the kind of responsibilities and challenges you are looking for in your new one. This will help make it clear to the employer what you are looking to achieve for the future and will help you decide whether the job you are interviewing for is right for you.

Said it? Proove it. Be prepared with evidence

Remember that words are worthless unless they are not backed up with evidence.

If you are going to say you are hard-working, back it up with an example of where you have gone the extra-mile for a past employer. You could even apply it to a time in your life outside of work where you have had to be particularly tenacious though a challenging time.

Our consultants also stress the importance of selling yourself at an interview. Be proud of your achievements and talk about what you can offer to the role.

Tread carefully: Positivity succeeds where negativity never will

It may be tempting to speak about your old employer in a negative light to defend your reason for leaving a job or even for being let go.

However, not being able to accept responsibility for situations you played a part in will only make you look stubborn and unwilling to learn. Remember to turn every negative into a positive and don’t dwell on things that may have gone wrong in your career to date.

Employers want to see enthusiasm for their company and role they are offering and will be turned-off by any negativity.

When it comes to money, it can be difficult to find a way of approaching the subject in an interview. Signing up to a recruitment agency means that you don’t have to worry about haggling your salary as they are best placed to do it for you.

Ask the right questions: Take inspiration, but keep it personal

So you’ve made it to the end of the interview and you’re feeling a little relieved. At this point you may be running out of steam but as hard as it is to resist, don’t just relax and sit back.

It is vital that you have 10-15 potential questions prepared to dazzle your interviewer with, to show that you genuinely care about the role they are offering. Google can produce some good inspiration of course, but you don’t want to recite examples questions to the letter as they can sound rehearsed.

Try and adapt a question like ‘’what is a typical day like in this role?’’ to the company to make it more personalised. You could start the question by picking up on a task you found in your job description and expanding on it. For instance, if part of the job is to design websites, you could ask how much time you will be expected to dedicate to this task during a typical day or week.

We also advise our candidates to ask the interviewer what they like about the company culture or why they have stayed in the company for as long as they have to keep the questions personalised.

Before you leave your interview, we suggest that you close the meeting on a positive note. Be clear that you are interested in the job (of course, if you are) and ask a question like ‘’what is the next step?’’ In a competitive job market, employers want to know that you are interested in them and not just in getting any old job.

If you are unsuccessful in getting the job, a good recruitment agency will be able to give you the constructive feedback you might not be fortunate enough to get from the company itself. At Pentasia, our consultants provide interview preparation and interview feedback to all our candidates who go to interview, so you can rest assured that you will be guided all the way throughout the process. Just remember to follow the steps above and you’ll soon be on your way.

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    Pentasia is an industry leading recruitment consultancy and a strategic, long-term partner... we have been impressed with their specialist expertise, industry reach and professionalism throughout.

    CEO, BGO Group
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    The Pentasia team were fantastic to work with. From initial contact through to my final job acceptance, my consultant was there every step of the way. I thank him for his professionalism.

    Director of Marketing
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    Pentasia are easily, head and shoulders above the rest. They got me the right role, without sending me out on any fruitless interviews. I would recommend them to anyone.

    Louise, Head of Brand - June 2016
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