Interview Advice

The way you handle yourself at interview stage is critical.

Many employers are utilising increasingly sophisticated interviewing and selection techniques. Your contact at Churchill Howard will be pleased to provide you with in-depth interview advice, including practice questions and constructive feedback.

First impressions count. Remember at all times, to demonstrate that you are a talented, enthusiastic professional who will add real value to your prospective employer.
“Fail to prepare – prepare to fail”

Research is critical. Your Churchill Howard contact will be able to give you key interview advice and information such as who you will be meeting, for how long and how many other applicants you may be up against. We’ll also be able to brief you on the likely format of the interview. For example, whether there will be competency based questions (and if so, what competencies the employer is most looking for). In conjunction with Churchill Howard, you should make sure that you:

Fully understand the employer’s business and their main routes to market.

Read annual reports, press releases and any other information on the business that is within the public domain. (Try checking out the employers’ business on LinkedIn – especially under the ‘insightful statistics about their employees’ link).

Investigate the employers’ industry sector including trends and main competitors.

Making your interview a success

Remember, that any prospective employer is just as interested in the way that you answer their questions as well as the answers themselves. In particular, we always recommend:

Being able to describe yourself, your career to date and your key skills fluently. (It’s not as easy as it sounds; practise it to yourself before the interview).

Being enthusiastic about your career to date. Do not criticise former employers or colleagues (it might appear as being disloyal or being labelled as ‘difficult’).

Having a copy of the CV for yourself that Churchill Howard has sent to the client. Make sure you have all of your facts, career dates and key achievements to hand.

Never interrupting. Always let the interviewer finish talking and listen carefully to the question right to the end before starting your answer.

Not smoking immediately before an interview. Greet the employer by their surname. Give a firm handshake and smile! Look your prospective employer in the eye while you talk to them.

Answering questions truthfully. Don’t be tempted to be economical with the truth. Aim to answer each question honestly and succinctly, with no unnecessary waffle.

Avoiding asking in too much detail about salary, holidays and other benefits at first interview stage. (We’ll be able to give you this information anyway).

Your objective of any interview should always be to get through to the next stage / be offered the job. Conduct the interview as if you are 100% determined to get the job (even if you may have some reservations about the role privately). It is always better to put yourself into the luxurious position of being able to choose, rather than closing the door on an opportunity prematurely.

Closing the interview and follow up

Many interviews end with an opportunity for you to ask any questions. This is still an opportunity for you to impress the employer, with some well thought out, pertinent questions about the role or the organisation (but not too many!). Make a note of potential questions to ask before the interview, if you’re worried you might forget them.

Always thank the interviewer for their time at the end of the interview. Ideally, follow this up with a thank you email. (Re-affirm your continued interest in the role and that you hope you will be called back for a further discussion). Don’t be discouraged if you do not get an immediate response. The employer will often wish to communicate with Churchill Howard first or may have more applicants to meet before making a decision.

Most importantly, call Churchill Howard after your interview and let us know how it went. We can help you land your perfect job – but that will only happen when we work together.

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