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Institute of Recruiters

Institute of Recruiters

Interview Tips

The staff at First Military Recruitment have got their heads together and come up with the following tips to help candidates going for/preparing for interviews. This is not a case of ‘teaching Granny to suck eggs’ but rather a few pointers that we have picked up over the years. Our aim is not to dumb down the interview process but to give some ‘steers’ before you enter the pivotal element of the selection process. The list is not exhaustive, and very much open to debate, but we hope it will give you some food for thought. Please note that we intend to publish additional interview tips and other such ‘nuggets’ in the weeks ahead. Feel free to tell us about your own experiences and any tips or advice you that feel may benefit others. We realise there is no 100% correct system so we welcome your comments and discussion:

Many employers will now insist on first, second and even third interviews before making a firm decision on employability. Regardless of how you have previously performed, never let your guard down. The likelihood is that you will meet new and more senior decision makers the further you progress in the interview process. Again, these are people you will need to impress to advance. You may be covering old ground with some of the questions you are being asked – if that is the case, remember how you answered the question the first time round and how, after analysis, you might have answered that differently or ‘added more value’ to the response you gave. Now is the chance to bring those extras out in the open!

A good interviewer will feed off the responses you have given them. This is a chance for you to steer the interview – if you have strengths that you want the interviewer to know about then tell them. Build those positives into any answer you give and a good interviewer will likely pick up on them and ask you to expand. Make the interviewer remember how easy it was to interview you by giving them enough leads to make the experience positive. Always expand on the responses you give to a question – at the end of the day, the questions will generally be about you and your experiences to date and how competent you are to do the role they have in mind. You are the expert on you and should be able to fluently elaborate on your career and achievements to date. At the end of the day, it isn’t rocket science.

A good agency/consultancy should do some donkey work on your behalf. You should expect to know who is interviewing you and what their respective roles are within the business. In addition, you should be given a flavour of what format the interview will take. In the majority of cases a face-to-face interview will likely be competency based – nothing fancy but an opportunity for the potential employer to gauge how effective you are likely to be for the role in question and, in some cases, the next level above.

It goes without saying that you should research as much as you can about the company who are interviewing you. The business website is always a good ‘starter for 10’ but look wider than the corporate spiel. Consider what projects or contracts they have in the pipeline and how your attributes might suit those programmes. An interview is all about substance and your ability to impress. If you have carried out effective research it will show and will give any interviewer that warm, fuzzy feeling that they have someone in front of them who will always be prepared and meticulous in their approach.

First Military Team.