Interview Tips

Preparation

Once you receive our interview confirmation, please read it to ensure you know what is expected of you on the day.

Check that you have diarised the right day and time for your interview. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get there, first checking your route/public transport or parking if you are driving. It is always best to dress smartly.

Company Background

Employers will always ask you what you know about the services they provide so prepare for this question by reading their website.
Take the time to have a read through their site and make sure you fully understand their background, services and products.

Job Description/Person Specification

We will send you the full job description, person specification and any other information the client has given us about the vacancy. Most of the interview will be based around these documents so make sure that you have read and understood them fully. Think, particularly, about what skills and experience you have that the job requires and recent examples of these.

If you want to make a good impression, make sure you are aware of changes and new developments in your sector and be able to talk about these.

Prepare some answers

There are some really common questions that interviewers use and you need to be prepared for them!

Tell me about yourself!

Your answer should summarise your qualifications, career history and skills set, highlighting in particular all those that are relevant to the job. Rehearse it beforehand - it should be no more than about 4 minutes long.

What are your strengths?

Think of two or three explaining and how they can benefit the employer. Examples could be ability to learn quickly, determination to succeed, good positive attitude and ability to relate to people and develop others. Link them to the job you are being interviewed for.

What are your weaknesses?

Try to think of some weaknesses that could also be a strength. For example, I am very quality conscious and hate to cut corners or my team think I am very driven and can be demanding of them.

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Be honest but do not run down your current employer.

Competency Based Questions

Competency based interviews are used by many companies as part of their recruitment process and they are essentially, a series of behavioural questions. The interviewer will ask you to describe a situation which demonstrates your abilities in relation to the role you’re interviewing for.

Key competency based questions:

Individual competencies

These refer to:
Your personal attributes; your decisiveness, tenacity, knowledge, independence, risk taking and personal integrity.
A typical question may include:
Tell me about a time when your work or an idea was challenged.


Managerial competencies

These refer to:
Your ability to take charge of other people; leadership, empowerment, strategic thinking, corporate sensitivity, project management and managerial control.
A typical question may include:
Tell me about a time you led a group to achieve an objective.


Analytical competencies

These refer to:
Your decision-making abilities; innovation, analytical skills, problem solving, practical learning and attention to detail.
A typical question may include:
Tell me about a time when you identified a new approach to a problem.


Interpersonal competencies

These refer to:
Social competence. Many workplaces function on the basis of project teams and the more collaborative they are, the more likely they are to thrive.
A typical question may include:
Describe a situation where you got people to work together.


Motivational competencies

These refer to:
The things that drive you; resilience, motivation, result orientation, initiative and quality focus.
A typical question may include:
When did you work the hardest and feel the greatest sense of achievement?


How to answer competency based questions

Answers to competency based questions should be structured, so use the STAR technique, describing:

  • the Situation
  • the Task required as a result
  • the Action you took
  • the Result of that action

Make sure you have thoroughly read the job description and think through some of the competencies that would be relevant to the role and then think of situations where you have been able to demonstrate your abilities in them.

First Impressions

Make sure that you start off on the right foot by arriving on time or 5 minutes early. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and smile.
Don't forget it is your job to sell yourself to the interviewer and personality is very important. A confident approach will help you stand out as an applicant to be taken seriously.

Things to remember during the interview

  1. Listen carefully to your interviewer and make sure you have answered the question they have asked and not the one you would have liked them to ask.
  2. Give work examples that will highlight any skills they have asked you about. Qualify these with skills with results and outcomes from that situation.
  3. Don't waffle on, when you have answered the question then stop talking and let the interviewer take the lead again.
  4. Try not to give one word answers.
  5. Don't run down previous employers or be unduly negative about past work experiences. Try and show what you have learnt from difficult situations and how you have dealt with them.
  6. Try and be positive and friendly and maintain good eye contact.

What questions should you ask the interviewer?

Think about what is important to you in the role; do you want to know about the culture of the company, the team structure, who your line manager will be, future prospects.
Don't ask about salary, benefits, holidays, etc. at first interview stage.

Tips on body language

Leaning slightly forward, with good eye contact and active listening will make you look attentive and interested.
Don't fidget - leg jiggling, hair twirling, looking at your watch, makes you look nervous and disinterested.
Finish strongly, even if you felt it didn't go well. Shake hands, smile, head up shoulders back. Leave a good impression of yourself.

Interview Feedback

Contact your Morello consultant as soon as possible after the interview to discuss how it went or email us.
We will pass your comments to the client and let you have their feedback as soon as we have it.

Offer Stage

We will help you with any negotiations necessary. Keep in mind that a salary offer should be considered with your experience, the training offered and potential progression in the role, in mind.
Discuss the offer with your consultant and assess it in the context of the current market situation and against your individual career plan.

Counter Offers

If you receive a counter offer from your current employer, bear in mind your reasons for wanting to leave rarely go away after a counter offer is accepted.
After a counter offer you may find writing a list of pros and cons helpful to see what the counter offer has changed in terms of your original reasons for seeking a new role.
If you decide it suits you to accept, make sure you get the counter offer in writing as research shows that these offers often do not materialise.
After accepting a counter-offer few employees are still with their company after 6 months. There are various reasons including a souring of the relationship after a counter offer, or still feeling dissatisfied despite a salary increase.

In brief:

  • Do your research on the company,
  • Understand the job being interviewed for,
  • Prepare your journey the day before so you are not late,
  • Be your best self

Very Best of Luck!