Recruiters will all have something that helps them to help their candidates. I would like to share mine and it is quite simple and increased conversion rates for my candidates from 25% to over 85% on a large contract. The night before take these simple steps and you will be amazed out how it helps:-

  • Take an A4 sheet of paper and divide it into four equal parts
  • Top left head up "Company" and write 8 bullet points about the company
  • Bottom left head up "The Role" and write 8 bullet points on the role and your alignment
  • Top right head up "Amazing things I have done" and have 5 bullet points
  • Bottom right head up "Questions for the interviewer" and write 3 questions; team, role and company focused

Now some interviews are quite technical so some people say how do you combat that with your technique? The answer to this is simple.... if you are applying for the right position the preparation for the technical aspect should be minimal because the position is in your area of expertise (and passion more importantly) and therefore this element of the interview should come very naturally.

Yes, research the company and include key items in your bullet points to remind yourself and yes, research the position and align yourself noting down some key bullet points in the relevant section. But don't either walk in with no preparation or walk in with reams of research so that you can't actually find anything you need. Concise reminders are the key.

The fact you have one sheet of preparation shows a. that you have prepared, b. that you care enough to have prepared, c. that you are organised and d. that you are able to research but keep very concise notes - efficient.

The top right section relates to competencies. The dreaded "competency-based interview" usually consists of things that are hinted at in the job advert / job description / role profile / person specification. Some companies are really helpful and actually list the competencies that they will be looking at in the individual. Here is your hint for preparation for interview. Without looking at the job details think of five amazing things you have done. Write them down in a short paragraph and reflect on the situation and how it impacted others around you, the business (or situation) and generally why it was so amazing. Then, write on your sheet keywords that will remind you of the situation. Finally review the role profile and see which competencies are explained off by that situation so you know how much you have covered off in examples so when the interviewer says "Tell me about a specific example when...." you can with ease. If there are gaps think of some other examples to add.

You have prepared the night before so the examples are at the forefront of your mind, you have written it all down on a one-sheeter so you have relaxed yourself as you have a comfort blanket in the interview and now all you need do is recollect and glance at your paper if needed to remind yourself or calm your nerves during interview.

And finally "Do you have any questions for us?" Nothing worse than having a mental block at this point and whilst you have a real desire to ask how you did, how much they will pay you, whether everyone goes out for drinks / social or whatever else is really important to you.... you are in an interview and this is often the lasting impression the company will have of you from meeting. Keep it simple and related to either the role, the team or the company. Keep your questions limited to these three things and the interviewer will feel that you are genuinely interested in them, their colleagues, the company and how you will fulfil the role for them. Above all don't leave without asking a question as it shows you either don't care or are perhaps unintelligent. It is expected so prep for it.

So there you have the Golden Tip. I look forward to hearing back if it helps you.