Essential tips for a successful interview

Attending an interview can be a daunting task for anyone. We at Aspire Rec2Rec have designed these helpful guidelines to make the interview process as painless as possible. Prepare for your interview thoroughly, so that you feel calm and relaxed on the day. Following these suggestions should help you perform to the best of your ability and help you feel more relaxed during your interview. Remember, although the interviewer wants to know how you would fit into the position, they are not there to trip you up.

Before the interview:

  • Find out about the company. Check out their website and look to see how long they’ve been in business, what they specialise in, who their clients are and what their turnover and profits are.
  • Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name.
  • Find out how long it takes to get there (Try entering the clients postcode into Then make sure you arrive a few minutes early.
  • Dress appropriately for the industry.
  • Reread your CV or application form to refresh your memory.
  • Take along a clean copy of your CV, and any samples of your work you may have.
  • Think about the personal skills the client is looking for and about when you may have demonstrated these skills in the past – at work, school/university or in a social environment. Be able to provide details of these, and think about why and how they might be relevant for the position you are interested in.
  • Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your present employer and former employers.
  • Be prepared to answer typical questions such as:
  1. What kind of job are you looking for?
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What are you really good at?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. What are you doing about addressing them?
  6. What do you know about our company?
  7. Why did you choose your particular career?
  8. What are your qualifications?

During the interview:

  • Greet the interviewer by their surname, shake hands firmly, and make eye contact and smile.
  • Take along proof of your sales figures and/or payslips. It will add massively to your credibility.
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
  • Get the interviewer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to the position. Ask what the qualities are of the people who are already achieving in the company and relate your qualities to them.
  • Make sure that your good points get across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Prepare the questions YOU want answered. This is your opportunity to find out if the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development that you want.
  • Some questions you might ask are:
  1. Do you have a detailed description of the position?
  2. What is the reason the position is available?
  3. What is the culture of the company?
  4. Is there an anticipated induction and training programme?
  5. Are there advanced training programmes available for those who demonstrate outstanding ability?
  6. What types of people have done well?
  7. What are the most successful sectors / disciplines?
  • Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no”. Explain whenever possible. Tell them those things about yourself that relate to the position. Back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.
  • Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  • Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street.
  • Ask the interviewer about the next stage.
  • When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact.
  • After the interview, make notes right away so you don’t forget critical details.