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Interview Preparation

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Being called for interview means you are one step closer to your next career move. How you perform can make the difference between getting the job and receiving a rejection.

Generally speaking, there are two types of interview; a normal/unstructured interview and a competency-based interview.

A normal/unstructured interview is a conversation during which the interviewer will ask questions that are relevant to the role they have advertised. They will try to get an overall impression of you as an individual based on your performance. Questions can seem random and will often be open ended, for example, “What can you offer our company?” Questions like this are are meant to gather information about you without testing any skills or competency. Overall, in an unstructured interview, you will be judged on the impression you leave. Therefore, this type of interview is likely to be subjective.

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

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

Interview Preparation Tips

  • 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 appropriately; interviewers often remember a candidate by what they were wearing.
  • Demonstrate your key professional qualities e.g. resilience, leadership, communication skills.
  • Write down five questions you will ask the interviewer.

At VANRATH our consultants are sector specific and have in-depth knowledge of, and experience in, their respective fields. They are understand the interview processes and the skills that our clients are looking for. They 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 contact us for a confidential conversation.