Interview Preparation

Interview Preparation

10 October 2018 by Justin Rush

Interview Preparation

If the mere thought of an interview leaves you in an anxious mess, you simply need to be more prepared!

Justin Rush, Abacus Talent Group, Director has obtained over 20 years’ experience in recruitment and if there’s one thing he has talked about a lot, it’s how to interview in a way that the company will respond: Wow! We are blown out of the water, we must hire this applicant immediately!

Over the years Justin has prepped hundreds of candidates for interview, even during the very early stages of my recruitment career. He has also had the pleasure of attending interviews on behalf of the Abacus Talent Group’s client base from SMEs to Global FDI corporates.

From Justin’s experience, you can instantaneously compare a prepared candidate VS an unprepared candidate.  Below is a list of top tips to help you with future interview preparation to outshine the competition:

1. Interview Preparation | Prepare for the interview:

The Basics: Prepare for The Initial Interview Slot

  • Do you know the time of the interview? As soon as confirmation is received, pop the date and time in your diary.
  • Begin to suss out the best mode of transport and how to get there.
  • Do you have to bring anything with you? Not all interviews are the same. Some may ask for proof of identity or perhaps they seek accolades of your professional achievements to date.
  • Take note of the names of people interviewing you. This will put your mind at ease.

2. Interview Preparation | Researching the company:

Research. Research. Research.

  • Have you gained a full understanding of what the company does that you are applying for?
  • Can you find any recent announcement published in the news on the company?
  • Look at their social media and company blog articles. You may find out interesting facts or statistics when getting benchmark you apart from other interviewees.

3. Interview Preparation | Know Your CV:

Know Your CV. Inside and Out!

  • Know your CV back to front so you don’t face any stumbling blocks.
  • Have you prepared a list of examples for competency-based questions? You’ve stated the facts on your CV. Now you need to provide the evidence.
  • State and validate dates, job titles and your earnings. Skip the white lies. Employers will cross reference the finer details.
  • Have reasons for why you left each role. Your potential future employer will expect full transparency in your answers.

4. Interview Preparation | Know The Job Specification:

Know the Job Specification

  • Detail how your CV and experiences relate to the job specification. This is your time to shine. You’ve been invited to interview for a reason and don’t forget it.
  • Any key criteria – do you match this and if so how?
  • Do you have any questions about the role? As the interview is progressing take a mental note and cover at the very end.  Try not to upset the flow of the interview.

5. Interview Preparation | Create the right impression:

Create the right impression during the interview

  • Dress professionally
  • Shake hands on entering and leaving
  • Try not to play with your hands
  • If your mouth is dry ask for water
  • Take time to answer questions, if you don’t understand ask again
  • Consider STAR techniques when answering questions

6. Interview Preparation | Example Questions:

Example questions for you to ask the interviewer

  • Please do not ask: What holidays do I get? Instead try asking: What is the package for this role? Does it increase with your length of service?

Take a second and think about your questions.  If you stipulate correctly you can find out about all the benefits, not just the holidays while showcasing your interest in long-term prospects.

  • Don’t even think about instigating: Why did the last person leave? Try asking: Am I replacing someone or is this a new role?

This will allow you to find out if you will be working within set parameters or if you will be trading on new ground.

  • Don’t be too overpowering by asking: How soon will I find out about the role? If curious to investigate the recruitment process further ask: What’s our next step?

It will not put the interviewer under pressure and shows you are interested in the desired role.

  • We beg you not to ask: Can you help put me through a course I want to do? Mix these particular questions with: Does the company support on-going training and learning for their employees?

The employer will want to put you through training which will help you develop within their company, not just for your own career.

I think I need to make it clear, what is truly important and why hiring managers make their decisions.  It’s not strictly true that you need to tick all the boxes when it comes to experience. As an applicant, you need to think outside of the box. Yes, we need to consider the intangibles. Intangibles? I hear you ask. You need to showcase substance, your fit, your attitudes, your flexibility and overall your enthusiasm for your next career position.

Interview preparation is key to nailing this to help showcase the ambitious side of yourself.  It is simply not good enough to freewheel. You will only waste the interview panels time and that dreaded negative lasting experience.

For more expert interview tips and advice, please visit our blog:

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