Are you ready for the interview?

If you've been in your current contract for some time you're probably out of touch with current interviewing techniques and a bit rusty sitting in front of an interviewer. Jenrick CPI, the IT resourcing specialist, brings you a comprehensive candidate check-list which tells you how to prepare, what questions to expect and how to conduct yourself during the interview:

Find out about the company

  • What are its products or services
  • How big is the company?

Aside from the information your agency can provide, you should do your own research from company literature, online searches etc.

Find out about the structure of the interview

Pick out your skills or achievements that are directly relevant and rehearse these ahead of the interview. Find opportunities to sell yourself, relating your skills to the role you are applying for.

Most interviews follow a similar format:

Questions based on your CV to explain your career path and ambitions:

  • Rehearse skills and achievements that are directly relevant
  • Be prepared to explain any unusual parts of your CV, such as any long periods of time taken out for education or travelling etc

General questions about you

  • How much do you know about this contract?
  • What interests you about the job?
  • What experience or skills do you have that makes you right for this contract?
  • Tell me about/why did you leave your last contract?
  • What interests you about this company?
  • When have you had the opportunity to show initiative?
  • Who and what were you responsible for at your last job?
  • Give an example of when you coped well under pressure?
  • Do you prefer to work as an individual or as part of a team?
  • What are your three biggest achievements so far in your career?
  • What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your long term goals? How are you going to succeed in achieving them?
  • Are you considering any other roles?

Telling you about the company and position

  • Which department the vacancy is in and how that fits within the company
  • Who you would be working for and with

Your questions

  • Asking relevant questions shows you are interested, organised and able to plan ahead.
  • Rate and benefits are important, but a client will be more impressed if you ask questions about the company, the department and the role first.
  • Good questions to ask are about any training opportunities, who you will report to and who you will be working with.

Informing you of the next stage of the process and when you will hear if you have been successful

  • Whether there is a second or third round of interviews.

Find out the details of the interview

  • What is the date, time and location?
  • Allow plenty of time for travel, aim to arrive at least 10 minutes early.
  • If you are held up, phone ahead and let them know.
  • If possible, do a trial run (check timetables or parking availability).
  • Ensure your personal welfare ( If the interview is not held either at the employer's office or your agent's office, ensure it is in a public place, eg, a hotel foyer – and liaise with your consultant in any situation in which you are not comfortable.)
  • Who will be interviewing you?
  • Be prepared for the possibility of a panel interview. In a panel interview, answer questions looking from one interviewer to another.

How should you dress?

  • First impressions are important! Dress suitably, be well-groomed and wear something you are comfortable in. Your consultant can advise if you are unsure.

What should you take?

  • Copy of current CV.
  • Relevant certificates and references.
  • Notepad and pen.
  • Questions to ask the interviewer.

If you want to take notes during the interview do make sure that the interviewer is OK with this.

During the Interview

Conduct:

  • Switch off your mobile.
  • Shake the interviewer's hand firmly when he/she offers.
  • Take the lead from the interviewer.
  • Don't sit down until you are asked.
  • Look alert and sit upright, eye contact isimportant.
  • Be yourself/honest.

Answering questions:

  • Listen carefully, concentrate and don't interrupt.
  • Show interest.
  • Talk slowly and clearly.
  • Keep your answers clear and to the point
  • Take time if necessary before answering a question or ask for clarification if you are unsure of the meaning.
  • Don't be afraid to admit if you can't answer the question.
  • Don't criticise your current employer, or reveal confidential/controlled information/documentation.
  • Find opportunities to sell yourself, relating your skills to the job.

Asking questions:

  • Make questions relevant.
  • Show that you have researched the company by the questions you ask.
  • Ask about training, team involvement,technology, etc.
  • Leave questions about rate and benefits until a later stage of interviewing.
  • Ask when you will be given a decision.
  • Save a pertinent question until the end.
  • Before the interview ends, do say if you haven't had the opportunity to put a point across or to ask a question. Finally, say if you are interested in the contract and thank the interviewer for seeing you.

After the interview:

  • Please call your consultant as soon as possible with your feedback.

Article kindly provided by Jenrick CPI