OPEX Selection offers free one-to-one interview coaching to all our candidates and we pride ourselves in
ensuring that every candidate we submit for interview is fully briefed and prepared to ensure maximum
It goes without saying that to make the right impression at interview the basic elements such as being
punctual, honest and making good eye contact are essential, but for professionals that advice is a
We have come up with some straight-talking recommendations designed to really advance your interview
style and help combat the most challenging of interview questions.
Below is a guide to making the best possible impression at interview, all areas will be covered and
complemented with a tailored insight from our experienced Consultants at OPEX Selection
- Digest the job description and
take notes on
your related experience and proven skills.
- Read the version of your CV that
submitted and take a mental note of key achievements (especially figures) and career
- Study the company website /
an overview of company history (with key dates), their products and services, recent
profits, their competitors and if possible their proposition to the market and USPs.
- Research recent company news
Google and business news websites
- Gain an understanding for the
industry and any opportunities and threats within it.
- Research your interviewer and key
online and study their public profile on LinkedIn
- Gain a clear understanding of the
process and any interview techniques. For example many organisations use
techniques, see our Competency-Based
guide for further information. This guide will also assist you in articulating your
examples in a
structured and concise manner.
- Based on your track record,
potential, note how you can contribute to the organisation based on their current
situation and the
context of the job description.
- Prepare for likely questions.
i.e. “so tell me about yourself” and “what are your strengths and
- Prepare for a positive
explanation to any
work history gaps or any potentially negative elements in your CV. i.e. leaving an
after a short period of time.
- Prepare some thoughtful questions
important to you, but also demonstrate a high level of interest in the organisation and
long-term career view.
- Bring a spare copy of your CV,
description and a notepad for key points.
- Whether the interview is formal or
be enthusiastic and take a positive outlook throughout the entire process (even if you feel it
not gone well in parts).
- Loyalty is highly valued in any
and when it comes to discussing previous employers; draw on positives and never speak negatively
- Don't worry about pausing before you
it shows you can think and are not delivering rehearsed answers
- Don’t embellish or try to waffle
through answers; it’s always better to admit you don't know the answer to something. Be
about any shortcomings and explain how you can overcome them through training or coaching.
- If you left a position on bad terms,
a concise, positive and factual account. Try to avoid any emotional explanation or blame others.
your position became untenable and you moved on then bear in mind that most employers will think
this was the best course of action.
- Even if your explanation to the above is
concise, positive and factual; expect some related exploratory questions about how you would fit
into their organisation and what you have learnt from the situation. Providing examples of how
have successfully dealt with similar issues in the past, a comprehensive account of how you
personality disputes and a clear statement that you have put those events firmly behind you will
create a positive impression.
- Explain what interests you about the job,
you can contribute and how it fits with your career goals. Stating that you ‘want to’
contribute to an organisation will be viewed very positively. Furthermore, stating that you
and thrive best when you are passionate for a job is a good move, so show you are passionate
it and draw on some of your research on the appointment and the company.
- The interview is also an opportunity for
to ask questions that are important to you, the general rule is to not enquire about salary /
conditions at first stage interview and focus on pertinent questions that are important to you,
the challenges the job-holder can expect, priorities over the 12 months how the role is likely
- The final question we recommend you ask
“Do you have any doubts about my ability to perform highly in this
This will give you the golden opportunity
overcome any reservations or to explain more specifically any points that have been wrongly
understood or assumed. Should the interviewer state that they have no specific doubts /
reservations, then that is your opportunity to reiterate you interest in the appointment and
as to the next stage.
- The following day, email the interviewer
very brief note thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the job.