Find a job

Interview Preparation

Talk to us. You’ll see the difference.

High calibre.
Highly confidential.

Being called for an interview after you’ve applied for a job means you’re one step closer to your next career move, but you’re not quite there yet. How you perform in the interview is likely to mean the difference between getting the job and not being successful.

Generally speaking there are two types of interview that you can be invited to; a normal/unstructured interview or a competency-based interview.

A normal or unstructured interview is essentially a conversation where the interviewer will ask questions that are relevant to what they are looking for, while trying to get a general overall impression of you as an individual. Questions can seem random and will often be quite open, for example, “What can you offer our company?” Questions like this are are meant to gather general information about you without testing any skills or competency. Overall, in an unstructured interview you will be judged on the general impression that you leave and this type of interview is therefore likely to be more subjective.

Competency-based interviews, also known as structured or behavioural interviews, are more systematic with each question targeting a specific skill or competency. You will be asked questions that centre around your behaviour in specific circumstances and you will need to back these up with with concrete examples. Your answer is then matched against a pre-decided criteria and marked accordingly. It is worth preparing in advance at least two examples for each competency as it’s not unusual for an interviewer to ask for a second example. The list of skills and competencies that can be tested varies depending on the role you’ve applied for but may include:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Decisiveness
  • Delegation
  • Flexibility
  • Influencing
  • Leadership

Interview Preparation Tips

  • Research is key, find out as much as possible about your prospective employer in advance of the interview.
  • Be prepared to discuss your CV in detail and expand upon it in interview.
  • Dress smartly, first impressions last and people often remember a person by what they were wearing.
  • Sell yourself, take the opportunities presented during the interview to demonstrate your key professional qualities e.g. resilience, leadership, communication skills etc.
  • Write down 5 questions that you will ask the interviewer.

At VANRATH our consultants are sector specific and have an in-depth knowledge of and experience in their respective fields. They are knowledgeable and experienced in the processes and the skills that our clients are looking for and will work closely with you in advance of the interview to ensure you are fully prepared. If you would like to discuss your CV in more detail please get in touch for a confidential conversation.