You are on page 1of 6

Interview preparation

Interview Methodology:
It is important to remember that when you are interviewing you are being assessed on 3
criteria:
1. Do you have the right skillset to do the job?
Most of the time the answer to this question will be an obvious yes! You are being
interviewed based on your CV which documents your skillset. Occasionally there may be
more demanding technical skills that you need to get across for a specific role.
2. Are you the right fit for the organisation?

Are you going to fit in well with the team, your management team and your
subordinates?
Do you embody the mentality of the company?

3. Are you going to stay long term?


The longer you are with a company the more value you offer them. It is important to get
across that your career goals line up with what they can offer you.

Every question in an interview is related to 1 of these 3 criteria. It is important to place


yourself in the interviewers position and ask yourself what value you can offer to the
company and how best you can make sure hat the interviewer understands this.
Always say positive things about yourself, not even neutral. Be universally positive.
SHOW OFF! ACHIEVEMENTS ETC!
Your objective during an interview should always be to get an offer!
Even if you decide halfway through that your are not sure about a particular position, you
still want to get an offer offers give you options and good practise for other interviews.
It often happens that after the first interview you might not be sure a bout a particular
position but after a second interview it can be your first choice.

You will be asked to go through your CV


The questions will be along the lines of tell me about yourself or tell me about your
experience.
Run through your career from university to current
The format to follow is always the following:

Why you chose to do the degree/ role that you did?


What you did (your day to day duties & responsibilities, clients sectors etc.)
What you learnt from it (skills etc.)
Why you were good at it (achievements etc.)

If you have gaps or have moved roles, explain why (positively).


Never lie about things or be constructive with the truth - these things are always
found out.

Always give positive reasons for taking the new job, not negative reasons for
leaving a previous role. If you cant think of positives, flip round the negatives
from the position that you left to be positive reasons that you joined the new
company.
The interviewer will test your mentality do you take responsibility for your
actions or use an excuse based mentality? Always take responsibility!
Nothing on your CV will stop you getting the job. You are being interviewed, how
the questions are answered will determine if you get this role or not.

Interview questions that will definitely come up:


Why do you want to live in (the location the job is based in)
When answering this question it is important to split it into your personal reasons and
also your career reasons.
Personal reasons are very important and you should research the following things to
discuss:
Climate
Standard of living/ Quality of living
Safety/ good place to bring up a family (if applicable)
Cultural & environmental reasons
Personal hobbies and how you would do them in the location
Personal reasons for wanting to live in the location e.g. friends or family already
there etc.
How you will develop a social network in the location
Career reasons:
Research the economy

Research your particular experience sectors and what the market is like in this
environment
Working with bigger clients (if applicable)
Career Progression opportunities

Why do you want to work for this company?


It is important to remember that you want to make this company feel special and unique.
Therefore dont say big four or FMCG or Oil & Gas instead it is important to say
something that is related specifically to that company along the lines of your name is
synonymous with excellence in your sector
You must research the company really thoroughly. Know the following:

Standard & Values/ Core Competencies/ Mission Statement (How the company
operates)
Turnover
Business interests
Expansion
Working methodology
Continued training
Career Progression
Anything which can show you have thoroughly considered this company as your
future employer.

It is especially important to align yourself to the companies Standards and Values i.e. if
one of the values is integrity why is that important to you, why do you also work with
integrity?
Their will be specific information on the company locally and internationally. Find out
local and global i.e. are they growing, new clients, press releases etc.
Training/ career progression- there will be information or their website. If you know about
progression in the future and what the future prospects are talk about this positively.

Questions that are likely to come up:

Why do you want to do this role?


Talk about what you find interesting and enjoy about the job i.e. variety (different clients),
learning about the business you are working on, meeting lots of new people (you will
have their reasons).

You have to sell positively the reasons why you want this particular role and why you
feel your experience matches what they are looking for (match the job spec to what you
have been doing and speak honestly about your positive points).
What are your goals/ What do you want from your career?
They want to know what you want in the long term to see if they can offer it to you long
term.
Separate it into short term/medium term/long term.
Short term next 2 years (ie this role and how you are going to be successful)
Medium term 2-5 years (ie succession planning for where you may go next within the
business and how you are going to come about making this move)
Long term 5 years + (where you aspire to be are you ambitious enough?)
- always fit this to what you know about time frames from the client side.
What is your ultimate goal?
could go.

Match to role and company and where realistically you

Short Term Goal examples


First thing I would do is settle into the location ASAP so I can settle into the role ASAP.
I am aware I will have to learn new skills and work with new clients. I will be very
focussed on doing this ASAP so that I can do the very best job for my clients and the
best job for .. Once I have got up to speed I will be focussed on exceeding KPIs/
targets as I want to be seen as one of the stronger members of the team quickly and I
would hope from there to take on more responsibility so that I can start the progression
towards future career aspirations. I expect this would require me to continue to develop
on my technical experience, to lead larger engagements, to take on
training/development exercises and to be responsible for more members of the team
Medium Term Goal examples
In the medium term I would hope to progress my career level and from there I would
hope to further develop my technical experience, to be more involved in hiring decisions,
to take on responsibility for developing a portfolio of clients and to be more involved in
the strategy of growing the firm so that I could make the move to my next career step.
Long Term Goal
In the long term I am an ambitious person and in the long term I would like to be
whatever the highest position in this business is. Dont just get to be the highest level
by being there a long time.
Strengths/Weaknesses
Strengths: 5 strengths rated in order of importance.
Explain each strength in full i.e. discuss the skill you have, why it is important to have
this skill and examples of when you have shown this skill/strength.

Potential skills (rough guide)

Dedication - do what it takes to make sure my client/firms needs are met


Adaptability Quick learner, able to handle multi-task, handle new environments
Strong technical skills
Strong organisational + prioritisational skills (time management)
Strong people skills
Strong leadership skills
Strong communication skills

Weaknesses: Do not use the usual spiel. Talk about weaknesses you had in the past,
that you have improved and are now strengths.
E.g.

Delegation Found it difficult to ensure the quality of work I wanted was done to my
standards by direct reports. As a result I was taking on too much work and I was not
training the staff effectively. In order to overcome this I made sure that I set up a
system that I regularly reviewed the staffs work to make sure there were no issues
and encouraged them to come to me with any problems. I also prioritised the
training of the staff to make sure that they were able to do the work effectively and
now as a result of this I have not only become a good delegator but a good trainer as
well.

What makes you a good Manager / Leader


Leadership Skills Series of points to cover

Lead by example
Open door policy
Excellent at assessing peoples skill sets
Realising the importance of training, not only to train skills but also to motivate
The importance of recognition the single most powerful tool to motivate staff

Give an example of when you overcame a challenge?

Always has to be work related


Situation What led to the challenge?
Why was it so challenging? List absolutely everything that was challenging
What did you do to overcome? Address everything!
Result Always has to be positive!

Questions you have to ask


Have 10-15 questions ready for the end of the interview. It seems like a lot but it isnt. It
makes you seem enthused and is one last opportunity to sell yourself.

What problems can I expect to face/what challenges can I expect to overcome?


Please could you describe a working week?
What sectors will I be working with?
How many people would be in my team?
Who would I be reporting to?
What are the plans for the team?
What are the plans for the firm?
What kind of training can I expect to receive?
What kind of career progression opportunities can I expect to receive?
Does the firm have any social events?
Would the firm offer me any assistance settling in?