Free Interview Tips

3 Tips To Giving A Killer Interview And Getting That Job.

I’ve been a boss for 30 years now and I must have interviewed 1000 people in that time for all kinds of jobs – secretarial, bookkeeping, IT, sales, admin, you name it!

Recently I’ve been reflecting on some of my successful hires and why I appointed them and a pattern has emerged.

Even if they haven’t been the most technically competent of all the candidates on offer, they’ve been interested in the job and the company and that’s what has made them stand out.

Their keenness has won them the job.

So how do you demonstrate keenness?

Personalise Your Research And Drop It Into The Conversation.

Well, tip number 1 is that a candidate must research the company’s web site before an interview, to see what they’re doing and to find out who’s who.

But it’s not enough to just research.

You’ve got to personalise your research and drop it into the conversation.

At the appropriate time in the interview, or even in the lift on the way to the interview room, it’s always valuable to say something like:

“I was attracted to the company because I saw on the web site that you’re heavily involved in social projects in Africa.”

“I was attracted to the company because I read that your MD worked her way up through the ranks. I like that idea.”

The point here is to find something admirable about the organisation and work it into the conversation.

Write Down Your Prepared Questions And Follow-Ups.

But now let me share with you the second major tip that earned success for the people I hired.

It’s the fact that they bothered to bring a list of questions to both first and second interviews.

I particularly like it if they’ve brought 10-12 questions that they’ve prepared in advance.

I recommend starting with some broad questions about the department and its strategy to show interest, a few more to ask about the boss’ role in making things happen to build a relationship and then some questions about the job and what would be expected of you.

And it’s always valuable to have a follow-up question or a comment prepared for when they’ve finished answering you.

Try using questions like these:

1. “What major initiatives will be coming up for the department in the next few months, such as systems changes or new products?”

After they’ve answered, don’t forget to say: “I’ve never been involved in anything like that before. I’d like to see how it works.”


“I was involved in something similar at my last firm. Maybe I could help with the implementation.”

2. “What do you feel have been the high points for the department since you’ve been here?”

After they’ve answered, add:

“How will you top that?”

3. “What have been the most challenging times since you’ve been here?”

If they don’t volunteer what they did about it, ask:

“How did that impact on the job I’m applying for?”

4. “Concerning the job I’m applying for, how do you see it changing and evolving over the next 18 months?”

Once they’ve answered, ask:

“Is that likely to lead to opportunities for promotion for someone like me, if I was hired?”

5. “What kind of training could I expect on joining if you hired me?”

Once they’ve answered, ask:

“Will that training be ongoing or how will I develop my skills?”

6. “Can you describe the ideal candidate for the job?”

Once they’ve answered, ask:

“How do I stack up so far?”

It’s important for you to put these questions into your own words so that they sound natural, but there’s no doubt they’ll really help you win that job.

Tell Them About Your Training.

My final tip to job seekers is to make sure you tell the interviewer about any relevant training you have done.

Once again, it shows keenness.

While you have probably listed your education on your CV, so has everyone else and it’s difficult to make it stand out.

So make sure you tell the prospective employer about the training you have done that is relevant to the job and tell them why you think it’s relevant.

Having undergone training shows that you are competent and motivated and will come up to speed in the job more quickly than someone who requires more training than you.

Bosses like that because it saves them time and money!

And if you’ve been Pitman trained, you’ll really impress them!

How To Get Pitman Trained.

You can enjoy Pitman Training courses and diploma programmes easily, even if you’re currently working!

Our training is structured to fit around your availability and we’re open really long hours including evenings and Saturdays to help you get a qualification that employers will respect.

To find out more, visit our course list and then either call us:

Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214

Holborn – 020 7025 4700

Manchester – 0161 923 6814

Or contact us by email.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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