Taking Interview Advice

Interview Advice

Rule 1 – Presentation

It may seem obvious, but this is where many people get it wrong. For a more conservative business always wear a dark suit or skirt and jacket, light business shirt or blouse, plain tie and dark, polished shoes. If the company is on the more casual side of things always err on the side of too smart. You can always adjust for a second interview. If you are unsure – check with your consultant.

Rule 2 – Prepare

We are constantly amazed at how little some people prepare for their interview. You wouldn't go on a client meeting or into a one to one with your manager without having done some research and preparation - the same applies to interviewing. Additionally, make sure you know what your own CV has on it and that you understand your achievements and past performance either in previous jobs or academically. There is nothing that destroys an interview quicker than when you can't relay basic information about yourself. Make sure you know what your objectives were, what you achieved and anything else that demonstrates what you have done and how successful you have been.

Rule 3 - The first Impression

As the saying goes; “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. Look good, feel good and believe you will be successful. Use a firm hand shake (even the ladies) and thank your interviewer for the opportunity to meet with them. Don't forget to smile – it relaxes everybody. Often your interviewer may be just as nervous as you!

Rule 4 - 2 Ears, 1 Mouth - Use them in proportion

A good interview is about gathering information from the interviewer in order to present yourself as the solution to their current problem. Therefore, use the interview to get information about the interviewer and their business. Try to make the meeting a business discussion rather than a question and answer session. Remember, most people like talking about themselves and their achievements so ask your interviewer questions about themselves and their role. Their answers will give you a flavour of what type of person they will be looking for and the type of company it is you would be working for.

Rule 5 - Know Your Past Achievements

You are a Professional. A successful Professional understands what is expected of them and why they've been successful. Take the time to ensure you are familiar with the key objectives you've had in previous roles and how you've performed against them. If appropriate take along examples or evidence of past success (and if you're in sales or marketing know your figures!).

Rule 6 - Avoid the Cliché

Whilst often a cliché best describes a situation, try to avoid using them in an interview environment. You want the interviewer to find out who you are and what you can do for them and therefore you need to voice your own ideas, not regurgitate someone else's.

Rule 7 - Prepare Great Questions

The question that's asked by every interviewer? "Do you have any questions?" And you better had! Your questions demonstrate three key things:

  1. How much research and preparation you've done and whether you have actually tried to imagine yourself within their business

  2. How well you've listened during the interview and how you've processed that information

  3. Whats important to you and how serious you are about the opportunity

Your questions should demonstrate knowledge and be part of an information gathering exercise that will help you decide whether the role is the right one for you. What are the working hours/How long do you get for lunch/How many holidays do you get etc are not indicative of someone really wanting to understand the company or the role. Questions like 'what traits do your best people demonstrate?' and 'what are the biggest challenges in the role?' show that you're thinking about what it takes to be successful.

Rule 8 - Close the Meeting

Regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate or are experienced, you should close the interview. Closing is essentially asking for feedback and checking whether the interviewer thinks you've demonstrated enough to move forward. If, when you leave the interview, you don't know what the interviewer thought of you, or whether they had any concerns, you haven't done the job properly.

Closing can be as simple as asking the interviewer what they thought of you, or to establish the next step in the process and clarify whether you will be included. It can feel uncomfortable sometimes to ask what someone thinks of you, but if there has been any miscommunication or misunderstanding now is the time to correct it!

Testimonials Default Image
  • ​I had applied for a role via Certus on a Monday and by Tuesday I was already in their offices for a meeting and subsequently being out forward for roles. The graduate manager I had, Anna, was incredibly supportive and made what can be a relatively daunting process very simple and easy! I was also in touch with two recruitment consultants, Megan and Jon, and they had both invested a lot of time into prepping myself for upcoming interviews they set up and by the Friday of the same week, I was already placed in a role. They all provided excellent support and service throughout the whole process and would highly recommend!​

    Pranay Patel
  • Jon, Gabi and Megan were amazing! They listened to what I needed and supported me to find the best role for me.​

    Claire Griffin
  • Wonderful company. Very friendly, professional staff. Remi initially contacted me and was extremely friendly, enthusiastic and encouraging. Jon guided me through every step of the interview process for a role. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them and I found a job within two weeks of being contacted. Would definitely recommend for graduates looking for their first job.​

    Marzi Smith
  • Had the pleasure of working with Remi and Megan and both were so committed to doing their best for me. Kept me informed and up to date with everything going on during my process and made me feel at ease at every stage. Couldn't recommend the company enough. Fantastic service and extremely friendly employees. Thank you!​

    Bobby Naeem
  • Amazing recruitment company that will support you and go the extra mile like no other! The clients that Certus recruit for, are top quality established companies that can honestly change your life. Big shout out to Megan K & Megan S for changing my life forever with the new job of my dreams! I only met the team to discuss roles on Monday and got a job 4 days later! Highly recommend Certus Recruitment Group :)​

    Petra Joli
  • Seaching for a new job is one of the hardest jobs and challenges anyone can go through. Before getting in touch with Certus I was having very little luck and was running low on patience and even confidence. Then the extremely motivating Megan K and Anna Green set me up with 3 different interviews which matched my requirements just 3 days after getting in touch. Megan K was always on hand to prepare me for interviews and even listened to my 20 minute presentation twice! I really appreciated the constant communication and constructive critisism towards my self-development. Thank you for keeping me motivated and always looking forwards. My new role is exactly what I was looking for :)​

    James Mulvey