Don't march into your Job Interview unprepared

Going for a job interview is like Walking into the Unexpected_2.jpg

PS: Going for a job interview? Don't get caught out. Get a copy of the interview questions that recruiters expect you to be prepared for right here

Interviews can be nerve wracking because you just don’t know what the interviewer has lined up for you. Ask your recruiter these questions and you will have an unfair advantage. Candidates arriving without information are the candidates that are going to get caught out. Some examples of curve balls include:

  • Are you just meeting one person or walking into a panel?
  • Who are the interviewers and what are they looking for?
  • What format will the interview take:

A Little Interview Preparation Goes a Long Way

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Your resume is what get's you the interview. But your interview is what gets you the job. You should expect that there are at least three other candidates you need to beat. But more likely you will be competing against 10 others in first round interviews. Second place doesn't get you the job offer. But a little interview preparation is where you can make a difference. 

If you find this information out before the interview you will have an unfair advantage. Don't make silly interview mistakes - use an interview checklist.

Go Directly to the Source

The best source of information for interview preparation is from the people who are running the hiring process. Who better to give you the inside track than your recruiter? In this case this could be the HR person posting the job advert, the hiring manager or the recruitment consultant. 

What You Must Ask Your Recruiter Before a Job Interview

A good recruiter should give you some background information – after all they are going to want you to be successful. But recruiters send many candidates to their clients so it's up to you to make sure you don't miss out. Don't expect them to provide this information to you, be sure to ask:

  1. Your Resume: Ask if any changes have been made to your CV so ask for a copy of your CV as it has gone to the client. Recruiters sometimes make changes to CV's and you need to know what they’ve changed prior to going. (And most CVs are processed through an Applicant Tracking System which can end up excluding content from your CV. You need to see the same information that your interviewer sees) 
  2. Psychometric tests: These tests are being used more and more. It's not nice to walk in and feel like you're facing a surprise psychological preparation. And better recruiters even adjust what questions they ask based on your profile. Click here to find out what recruiters do with your psychometric test. Super User tip: Find out what your personality test says about you before the interview by taking the job seeker skillfinder (5 minutes)
  3. What did the recruiter say about you? Check you are on the same page. How did your recruiter describe you and what skills did they say you had. Check the salary level your recruiter put you forward at. The last thing you’ll want is to immediate elimination because of a simple miscommunication.
  4. Ideal Candidate: Other than what is listed on the job description, what are they looking for in an ideal candidate?
  5. Company Information: There's the publicly available information and then there's the inside knowledge that makes the difference. Public information is for the whole company but you need to know about the department you're being interviewed by. What else can they provide? On values, mission statement, products, markets etc. There's really no excuse not to be ready for the inevitable question that recruiters expect you to be prepared for, “So what do you know about our company?” 
  6. Interviewer: Ask about the person who will be interviewing you. What should you look out for? Find out the full names and surnames of interviewers so that you can look them up on LinkedIn. Google them - they may have interests not listed on LinkedIn. If they've published published articles/books you'll have an immediate way to make a flattering connection.
  7. Interview Process: What does the interview process look like? Will there be first interviews, second interviews or even third round interviews? How long will each interview last? Will there be tests? Is there an assessment day?
  8. Interview Type: What type of interview will it be? Some examples are: competency/ behavioral based interviews, assessment, panel, technical, portfolio, case study. Ensure you know which one it is so you can prepare accordingly. There's nothing like arriving and getting faced with an unexpected barrage of tests. Go a step further and ask for a copy of the interview questions you will be asked. Yes - some companies will give you this ;-)
  9. Golden Nuggets: Ask the recruiter if they've have ever had candidates interview at the company before. Maybe even with this exact manager? What has the feedback been, what nuggets can they share?

The Role of the Recruitment Consultant

Recruitment Consultant’s have a good relationship with the hiring manager as their client. Recruitment Consultants are therefore a GREAT source of information. The problem is if they are sending several candidates then they just don't have the time to prepare every one. So yes, you should ask them as much as possible but don't be surprised if you don't get any help.

Ask them what type of people they hire. Why they have rejected candidates in the past? You can even ask them for interview practice. Some recruiters will do this for you but you'll be lucky to get more than a single short session. If you want more practice than a Recruitment Consultant will give you then get a professional interview coach.

Wrapping up

Interviewing is difficult and stressful. Not knowing what to expect can cause interview anxiety which decreases your interview performance. But a little interview preparation will boost your confidence – and your interview success.

Going for a job interview? I can help you get the job you want. Sign up for my Interview Success email series which will give you interview tips and advice. Starting with an interview checklist so you know that you are prepared for your next interview.

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This is part of the Interview Success Series. This series covers how job seekers can get the job they want. This series contains inside information from experienced recruiters.


·         How to interview better,

·         Resume Assistance,

·         Interview Questions and Answers,

·         Interview Mistakes to avoid and more…


Do you have any comments, questions or tips about job interviews and job hunting? Please help the rest of us out by sharing your comments, tips, suggestions or questions in the comments below.

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