Strictly Recruitment By: Strictly Recruitment -

Interview preparation – how to stand out from the crowd

If you are lucky enough to secure an interview you will most definitely be up against some equally impressive adversaries. This makes interview preparation essential if you want to stand any chance of securing your new dream role.

Your potential new employer has selected CV’s on the basis that you each share similar experience and qualifications, so how will you differentiate yourself and what can you do to set yourself apart?

Aside from the obvious, which includes familiarising yourself with the job description and researching the business, you need to exceed expectations and stand out from the crowd. Something that will leave a lasting impression with any potential employer is how you end your often limited time with them. If things go well and you are offered an opportunity to ask any questions at the end, this is your chance to open up a further conversation and do just that – so use it!

I am regularly asked what questions are best, so here are a few ideas to consider…

1. What other skills/experience would be ideal for this role?
This is a great open-ended question that will allow the interviewer to put his or her cards on the table and tell you exactly what they are looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover – this is the perfect chance to talk about your experience in this area.

2. What do you enjoy most about working here?
This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing their own feelings. You can also gain further insight into the culture of the business.

3. What would constitute success in this position and at this firm/company?
This will demonstrate your interest in working hard and a commitment to being successful, whilst also allowing you to gain insight on how to get ahead and considering whether it will be a good fit for you.

4. Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?
The question is phrased in a positive way and also shows you have a genuine interest in finding out more about the people you will interact with on a daily basis.

5. What can you tell me about any plans for growth?
Do your homework on the employer’s website beforehand and mention anything you feel is noteworthy to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of whether there is any scope for future career progression (without getting ahead of yourself and asking this… you don’t have this role yet remember!).

6. What do you think the biggest challenges would be in the first 6-12 months?
This is a chance to positively affirm your desire to take on this challenge and explain that this is something you have been looking for/lacking in your current role.

7. What is the next step in the interview process?
This is the one question you should always ask at the end. It shows that you are interested in the role and invites the interviewer to tell you who you may be meeting next and perhaps give you an idea as to the timeframe.

You never know…the answer you may hear is “There is no next step, we would like to offer you the role!”

Feel free to let us know any questions you have asked which enabled you to stand out from the crowd and secure your dream job…