Interview advice

Before the interview

Obviously, check and double check the date, time, location, travelling time and who you are due to meet.

Truly effective preparation however, involves research. Your consultant at Grace James Recruitment will be able to provide good background information on the company and role, as well as an insight into the people you are likely to meet. The internet libraries and trade publications will allow you to take control of your level of knowledge prior to the interview.

Ensure you know enough about the role and have a good understanding of it. You will be asked questions directly related to the job and if you are not clear on the responsibilities, this will become apparent as the interview progresses. Perhaps prepare some examples of past experiences within your career that may closely relate to the job in question.

The Interview

First impressions

First impressions are critical; psychologists will tell you that you are evaluated within seconds of contact, so it’s worth paying attention to your visual presence to make sure you’re perceived as a visual fit for the company. Typically this means professional business dress, but add your own style, by accessorising. If you feel good about how you look, you will demonstrate this with confidence and confidence is its own style!

Also, think about your body language. A handshake when you first meet your interviewer, is always received well. Follow this with regular eye contact throughout the interview. This will suggest confidence and more importantly, integrity in what you are saying and also may put the interviewer at ease.


Of course an interview is about you selling yourself for the role. However, listening is also vital. An interview is essentially a conversation, so it is important to listen to what you are being told. When asked a question, write it down if you like, so you can focus on answering the question directly. Be open and honest and also animated when you can be. Enthusiasm is so important! Your interviewer wants to see that you are interested, so demonstrate this to them. If you are faced with a difficult question, stay calm and take a minute to think about your answer. If you really don’t know the answer, say so. Your interviewer will be more impressed by you being honest then stumbling through an ill-considered answer.

Your turn to talk

Interviews are a 2 way meeting, so don’t be afraid to ask your own questions throughout the interview. This will confirm your interest and enthusiasm, creating a stronger rapport with your interviewer.

The structure

Most interviews follow a similar structure – introductions, an overview of the role/company, a set of questions from the employer to help establish your suitability and then an opportunity for you to ask questions before concluding the meeting.

Remember to be factual and concise whilst avoiding one-word answers, stay calm and consider any response for a moment. The key is to remain positive, rely on the preparation you have done and be honest.

At the end of the interview

 With most of the hard work behind you, ensure you end the interview well. Leaving that lasting impression is key!

If you have enjoyed the interview and you are impressed with what you have seen in the Company/Home and heard about the role, be sure to say so, before you leave.

Ask about the next stage in the recruitment process. Will there be a further interview or a direct decision?

If you are keen, leave the interviewer in no doubt that you want the role. This could be the clincher between you and someone else, who may not have shown the same levels of enthusiasm. Wanting the job can be as critical a criteria to an employer, as anything else. Let them know that you want the job!

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