The Wage Shop

So, you’ve taken the advice from our CV tips blogs – what to do and what not to do – and now you’ve landed the interview. There’s lots of things you need to think about, so take a look at our top tips below and take the stresses out of the interview process!

1) Research the company – you may have applied for the role because you thought it was a good opportunity, but not really thought about the company profile. Now’s the time to take a look at the company values. You never know, you may be asked in the interview what you know about the company, so you need to be prepared with something to say.

2) Read through your application and the person specification again. They have invited you to interview to learn more about you, your experience and skills, so they will likely pick up on points you mentioned in your application. This is especially important where you’ve sent a few applications to a number of companies, you don’t want to get confused and be talking about another application!

3) Be on time. There’s nothing worse than keeping an interviewer waiting, it can be seen as you lacking respect for others and not planning properly. On the other hand, don’t be too early. Don’t arrive more than 10 minutes before your interview time. Arriving too early can sometimes be seen as not planning properly either! If you need to catch the earlier bus, find somewhere where you can go and have a coffee. It will help you to gather your thoughts before you head in.

4) First impressions count. Be sitting up straight in reception, and don’t be on your phone or looking through notes. You don’t want to be distracted when you’re called in and have to spend time putting things away in your bag or pocket. Take these few minutes while you are waiting for your interviewer to take in the surroundings. Speak pleasantly to the receptionist or whoever has greeted you and smile. This can all be part of the interview. Interviewers very often ask the people you have interacted with how you approached them and they might just be reluctant to hire you if you were rude to their staff even if you aced the interview.

5) Try not to be too nervous. It can be difficult, especially when it’s your dream job, but being too nervous can cloud your judgement and you will more than likely stumble over what you are saying and forget important points to cover. The interviewer will expect you to be nervous, so there’s no need to apologise for it, but being so nervous that you struggle with simple things such as the initial introductions and the first few questions won’t look good. It will make them wonder how you will settle into the role and if it’s a customer facing job, they will certainly be wondering how you will interact with customers. Be as confident as you can and if you struggle with your nerves on interviews, look up tips on how to cope and present yourself in a better manner. Remember you can be shaking on the inside and want to scream, but outwardly you can be calm and collected. They only have to think you are confident and it can help to calm your nerves.

6) Think about the questions you could be asked. If the role has contact with children, you will more than likely be asked about safeguarding. Most companies will publish safeguarding policies online, so take some time and read through it. If it’s a sales role, what are their products? Are you able to find research on their most popular line? What does the industry say about the company – have the won any awards recently? Taking time to think about what sort of things you could be asked and prepare answers for these will help you to relax on the day. Be careful not to over rehearse your answers though. The interviewers don’t want to feel like you’re reading from a script. If you’ve thought about things you could discuss in advance, it will help you to focus your mind when you are asked those questions without being too formal and too robotic.

7) Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question or take a few moments to think about your response before blurting something out. We all hate silences, especially in interviews, but taking a moment to think about your response before speaking could help you a lot. It stops you rambling on about nothing, and gives you time to think about what you want to say. If you didn’t hear the question properly, ask them to repeat it. Some questions may have 2 or 3 aspects needed for the answer and by the time you’ve discussed the first point, you’ve forgotten the second. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question. It shows you are aware there was another point you need to cover and you aren’t afraid to ask for support when you need it.

8) Have your own questions prepared to ask. At the end of the interview, there’s always a chance for you to ask your own questions. Take the opportunity. There’s no way that the interviewer has covered all the points you could possibly want to know, so have something ready. Was there something in the job specification that you weren’t clear on, or a job responsibility you aren’t sure about? Ask them. It shows you have done your research and you want to be clear about your role and responsibilities.

9) Remember it’s your interview too – this is your chance to see if you want to work there as much as their chance to see if they like you. You don’t have to have all the right qualifications, as some companies look at attitudes and how they think you will fit into the team – people can be trained up where needed. But this is your opportunity to see if you like them too. Think about how you would fit in with the people you meet. If one of the interviewers was particularly rude or offensive, can you see yourself working alongside them day in, day out? Don’t forget you probably spend more time with colleagues in the week than your own family, so you need to get on with people you will be working with. If the staff were rude at interview stage, ask yourself would that change when you’re working there? Think about the things that are important to you and see how the company fits with those issues.

10) Don’t forget your paperwork! You might be asked to take in some form of ID, especially if the role is subject to a DBS clearance. If you’ve been asked to take something with you, make sure you have it. If they ask for copies of your qualifications, take them in a folder so they don’t get damaged. Don’t be afraid to offer them at the end of the interview if you’ve not been asked for them before. Interviewers are people too and may sometimes forget, they will also have a lot going on that day, so won’t mind a prompt if they’ve forgotten something. Make sure whatever you take in is neat – no coffee stains or crumpled forms! You don’t want them thinking you can’t look after important documents.

After all this, you’ve survived the interview. Congratulations! Even better when you get the job. Don’t forget how The Wage Shop can help you in your new role – we make sure your tax and National Insurance needs are taken care of, that you get paid correctly and on time, so you can spend your energy focused on your new job.

We also auto-enrol you into our company pension scheme, so you can be planning for your future without even thinking about it. With our Payment Advance service, we can also advance you some of your wages so you can make sure your new work wardrobe is updated so you can be confident in your new venture. Head over to the website for more details or Contact Us to register.