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Successful interview techniques

Well done on getting as far as an interview – that’s half the battle dealt with! If you’re reading this, the chances are you have an interview to prepare for in the next few days – and that means your CV has done its job. You’re qualified for the role and a potential employer wants to find out more about you.

We like to spend quality time with our candidates ahead of their interviews. With our intrinsic knowledge of the recruitment industry and our specialism in the transport logistics sector, we are ideally placed to support you. It is important to us that you enter your interview feeling confident, calm and collected – so we’ll work alongside you to support you in the run-up as much as we can. In the meantime, our quick ‘refresher course’ below might be of some help:

  1. Think about your potential new employer. Research is key. Do as much digging as you can on the company, its clients, its challenges and its successes. Keep up to date with the latest industry trends and events, as your interviewer may ask for your opinion.
  2. Think about your interviewer. If you have been given a name or names, look them up on LinkedIn, find out about their career history and mention anything relevant in passing to show you have done your research. Just make sure you don’t end up sounding like a stalker!
  3. Think about you. How can you sell yourself in the interview? Consider your skills, qualifications and experience, and tailor these to the position you’re pursuing. Why are you the right candidate for the role? Why should they pick you?
  4. Think about the questions. Prepare as much as you can. Ask a friend or family member to ask you test questions, and practice your answers out loud. Make sure your answers are clearly structured and always relate back to your skills or experience.
  5. Think about your appearance. In our experience, it is always better to go too smart than too casual. Interviewers want to know that you’ve made an effort, and that you care about the role you’re applying for, and dressing smartly demonstrates this. Having said that, don’t be afraid to allow a little personality to shine through where appropriate, with small details or accessories.
  6. Think about the practicalities. Plan your route. Will you need to take public transport? Do you need fare for a taxi or change for parking? Are there any road or engineering works you need to bear in mind?
  7. Think about your first impression. Ideally, arrive around ten minutes early for your interview. It is not always easy when you’re nervous, but greet the interviewer with your head held high, a confident handshake and a smile.
  8. Think about your body language. It is often said that over 90% of communication is non-verbal. Your posture, facial expressions and gestures can convey a great deal about your attitude. Try not to slouch or gaze around the room disinterestedly. Maintain eye contact where appropriate, engage with what the interviewer is saying and try not to fiddle with your hair or clothes.
  9. Think about your responses to questions. It’s human nature to either gabble or clam up when we’re nervous. Plan your answers in advance where possible, and speak in short, coherent sentences. Try to avoid empty sayings or trailing off a sentence with ‘you know what I mean…’ or ‘and that kind of thing…’ as this will undermine your answer. We can work with you on your technique to help prepare you for this.
  10. Think about what you want to know. Asking questions is positive in an interviewer’s eyes, as it demonstrates your engagement with the business – but this is also a valuable chance for you to gain a sense of the company’s culture. Try to steer away from questions that only relate to staff benefits – holiday entitlement, pay, and so on. These are points that can be covered once a job offer has been issued. Instead, consider questions about the company ethos, its background, the make-up of its teams or the way it does business. For extra brownie points, ask some additional questions that relate back to topics you discussed during the interview.

Contact Details

Essex: 0203 2430077
Heathrow: 01784 450 111
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