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Successful Interviews

Hudson’s Guide to Prepare for an Interview

Tried and True Interview Techniques

Set yourself apart with
strong interview skills

Congratulations on winning the interview with our client! Now, take advantage of our interview tips to do your very best.

Great interviews depend on:

  • Preparation
  • Enthusiasm

Do Your Homework

Here is some valuable interview advice: Prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Make sure your consultant provided you with a detailed job description, an understanding of your team or department, and information about the organisation
  • Conduct additional research about the company. Internet research, company and competitor websites, annual reports, and industry periodicals can all assist. Know the firm’s products/services, sise, locations, financial standing, competitors and growth potential, as well.
  • Know exactly where you are going for the interview and leave extra time to get there
  • Dress conservatively and pay attention to grooming
  • Know the interviewer’s full name and title
  • Know which skills and competencies best demonstrate your ability to do the job. Refresh your memory about past employers as prior experience will come up.
  • Be ready to convey why the role appeals to you, what you bring to the role, and what special qualities might differentiate you from your competition
  • Prepare your interview questions. By asking intelligent questions about the company, you have another opportunity to impress.
  • Also ask interview questions that confirm the company is a good match for you! For example,
    • What would a typical day include?
    • Why is the position available?
    • How would you describe the company culture?
    • Is there opportunity for career growth?
    • What training programmes does the organisation offer?
    • What sort of people excel in this team/organisation?
    • How is the company positioned against the main competitor?
    • Are there plans for company growth or expansion?
    • What three traits would make someone successful in this role?

Types of Interviews—What to Know

Competency based or behavioural interviews require interview skills that show your competence in particular areas. The most effective way of answering these interview questions is to use the SOAR interview answer technique:

S = Scenario - Briefly give the background of the situation

O = Ownership - Describe your specific responsibility

A = Action - Describe the actions you took 

R = Results - Describe the outcome

Here is a SOAR answer to a competency-based question on teamwork:

'Team work is very important here. Can you give me an example that shows you’re a good team player?'

'I have a number of examples to share with you. In one instance, when I was working as a financial analyst at COMPANY, the sales team was putting together a complex bid for a large job, and the analyst that normally helps them was on leave. I was on another team, but I stepped in to help them and worked late every night for 2 weeks to ensure they had all the information they needed. They also took my suggestions on pricing and formatting the proposal. Happily, the bid was won, and the team was recognised as a result.'

You may be required to provide between one and three real-life examples to validate a competence.

Be prepared with answers and supporting examples to standard interview questions such as:

  • What are your career aspirations?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What interests you about our products/services?
  • Of your previous jobs, which did you enjoy most and why?
  • How have you managed conflict in the past?
  • Describe some examples that demonstrate initiative
  • What are your weaknesses? Your strengths?
  • What does teamwork mean to you?
  • What style of management works best for you?
  • What have been your two best achievements to date?

Remember that you are being interviewed because the interviewer wants to hire somebody – not to trip you up or embarrass you. In addition to qualifications and aptitudes, your interview will give insight into your intellect, attitudes, motivation and maturity.

Small Traits Make a Big Difference

Bring these traits to every job interview—they matter!

  • Thoughtful, informative replies
  • Clear, logical answers
  • Confidence
  • Tact, maturity, courtesy
  • Eye contact
  • Firm handshake
  • Enthusiasm
  • Positive, 'can-do' attitude

General Tips

  • DO wait until a chair is offered before sitting. Sit upright and look interested.
  • DO let the interviewer finish speaking before you start your statement. It’s fine to pause and think about your answer before you begin.
  • DO smile
  • DO try to get a description of the job and its duties early in the interview so you can tailor your answers accordingly
  • DO show that you are determined to get the job you are discussing, even if you’re having second thoughts. Never close the door on an opportunity.

  • DON'T answer questions with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Elaborate.
  • DON'T lie. Answer interview questions truthfully and sincerely.
  • DON'T make derogatory remarks about present or past employers
  • DON'T 'over answer' questions and avoid veering into politiSK, religion or controversial current events
  • DON'T enquire about salary, holidays, bonuses, etc., unless the interviewer brings it up. However, you should know your market value and be prepared to state your desired salary or range.

A Strong Close

  • Restate your interest in the position
  • Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration
  • Make sure you have email addresses for prompt thank you notes
  • Smile

Expect you may leave without an offer. If you spoke to more than one person they will need to compare notes. You could be one of many candidates. And these days, second interviews are fairly standard.

After the interview

Call your consultant immediately to share your impressions. It’s better if your consultant speaks with you before speaking with the interviewer.

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