Ask a professional...

Matthew CameronMatt Cameron (BA Medieval and Modern History, 2009), Head of Permanent Recruitment for Empiric, offers his answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about interviews…

1. What is the best way to prepare for an interview?   

To identify –

 Three reasons why you are a great candidate for the role

 Three reasons you are attracted by the role opportunity

 Three reasons you would like to work for the firm (and not one of their competitors)

2. How do I make a good impression on the day? 

 Always give a firm handshake (it demonstrates confidence)

 Look your interviewers in the eye!

 If you find yourself getting nervous, place one hand on top of the other on the table. This demonstrates that you are in control

3. What are employers looking for at interview?

 The ability to put your clients (internal or external) before your own

 Demonstration of quality work and going the extra mile

 Your approach to risk: spotting things which need attention and being able to explain an example of how you have made and impact

4. What if I’m asked a question I can’t answer?

 Take a few seconds to think through, ask them to clarify again

 If you are unable to answer be honest and say so! 

 Present your thought process of how you would arrive at the answer

5. Do you have any top tips for telephone interviews please?

 Phone interviews are hard work – you have to really work it to get yourself across

 Take time to listen, make sure your voice is upbeat, slow and clear

 Have all of your interview notes in front of you

 Make sure you are in a quiet place – ideally use a landline and not a mobile so that the line is clear!

6. Should I ask questions during the interview?

 Don’t ask a question(s) for the sake of it!

 It is diligent to prepare two or three questions relating to the firm/business area.

 It’s good to ask what the career progression will look like in the role.

7. What should I do after the interview?


Review your feedback straight away in case you forget anything

Write down the things you thought you did well on and those that you may still need to convince on

Follow up with an e-mail either to the hiring manager, HR or recruiter to confirm your interest and the reasons you are a great candidate for the role, along with what you really liked about the interview.