Your CV did a great job highlighting your skills and experience. Your covering letter nailed why you feel you’re the best person for the job. Now you’re through to the interview stage, and it’s a chance for you to prove yourself to your potential boss in the flesh, or over a video interview. (Need help with your CV or covering letter? Check out our free resources.)
This HR GO interview guide will arm you with the practical know-how you need to prepare and succeed.
The traditional one-to-one meeting isn’t the only interview around. You might be interviewed via video, in a series of interviews, by a panel of people, or be asked to take assessment tests.
Your HR GO consultant will tell you what you can expect on the day, including:
Ideally you’ll seem well-informed and enthusiastic about working at your potential new company.
So head online to find out:
Being the right ‘fit’ for a company can sometimes be as important as your skills and experience. So jump into the company’s social media to get a feel for how they do things - and glean ideas on things you can bring up:
There are standard questions which you’ll probably be asked based on your CV – questions about work, the job you’re being interviewed for and your life outside work.
Preparing thorough replies in advance will help you feel more confident (even if the exact questions don’t come up).
You might also want to be prepared for the toughest questions, just in case.
If in doubt dress too smart rather than too casual
Get the edge by putting a personal spin on your answers, rather than reeling off dry facts. Talk from the heart about why the company appeals to you and how you feel you could contribute to where they’re heading.
Interviewers are looking for proof that you have the skills and experience they’re looking for and will be capable in the job.
Study the main duties and responsibilities in the job spec and prepare specific and detailed examples of when you’ve demonstrated these in action.
As a guide, start by explaining the situation, then talk about what you did to resolve the problem, and then explain the end result.
Can you find your interviewer on LinkedIn? Knowing as much as you can about them will give you an advantage as you might be able to chat about their role in the company and how it would relate to yours.
Towards the end of the interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions. If you don’t ask any, you’ll seem unenthusiastic about the role.
Here are four you could ask:
If the role is remote or hybrid, here are a few more questions you could ask:
It’s important to confirm where you’ll be going and when. If possible, do a dry run of the journey beforehand as it’s crucial to be on time or arrive early (arriving late means you’ll be flustered, plus suggests you may always be late for work).
You’ll feel more confident if you know:
If your interview is remote, you'll want to make sure you're set up with any software download you might need ahead of time and have an appropriate background set up. Get our full tips on preparing for video interviews.
It’s good that the interviewer sees you’ve prepared for your interview. So write down or print out your questions & carry them in a clear folder, which you can put on the desk in front of you.
Be pleasant and polite while you’re waiting to be seen. The receptionist might feed back to your interviewer, too!
The final stages of an interview are also crucial because they’re how an interviewer remembers you, especially if they’re meeting multiple candidates. So aim to wrap things up on the right note, showing how enthusiastic you are about the role and the company.
Before you leave, shake hands and thank them for the chance to learn more about the job and the organisation. It’s fine to ask what the next steps might be as this shows confidence and enthusiasm, but:
Call or email your HR GO consultant to let them know how things went. They’ll be able to tell you what happens next and when you’re likely to hear more news.
Above all, be yourself. Your potential employer wants to see the authentic you
If you’re successful, your HR GO consultant will let you know and help you through the next steps of negotiating salary and terms, including a start date.
If the role is remote, you might want to read our blog on how to feel connected with your new team.
Don’t be too down-hearted or take it too personally. Faced with a choice between yourself and another candidate with the same skills, qualifications and experience, someone else could have been a slightly better fit.
Instead take the opportunity to get as much feedback as possible and put all the learning to good use in your next interview.