Interview Preparation

These notes are intended as an additional aid for candidates who are preparing for an interview arranged through MedComms People . This is not a definitive resource but can hopefully provide guidance for interview tips and technique that may prove useful whatever your level of seniority, although depending upon the stage of your career, much of this information may have become second nature.

The interview stage of the recruitment process is where you have the opportunity to “sell” yourself to the prospective company and vice versa. This is the time for highlighting your skills and abilities to the employer and satisfying any questions that you have about them.

Preparing for interview:

Preparation is crucial – do your homework. Go through the job spec thoroughly and interrogate each point /requirement against your own qualifications / experience / skills / knowledge so that you are aware of where your strengths and weaknesses lie with regards to the role.

Take time to research and read through all the information that you can find about the company; their website will be a good place to start, but there may be other information available, brochures, press articles etc. Familiarise yourself with their brands, services and clients as well as their company structure, office locations and size.

Once you have completed your research speak to your consultant regarding any questions that may have arisen or ask them to provide more detailed information on points of interest. Now you know what the company are looking for, you should start to formulate responses to likely questions.

The Basics:

Dress appropriately – you may be an ambassador for their company in the future – show them how well turned out you can be. If in any doubt, dress up rather than down – don’t underestimate the importance of presentation and posture.

Be punctual for the interview (5/10 minutes before your appointment). Make sure you have planned your route, and left more than enough time for your journey. If you arrive too early, relax and gather your thoughts nearby, rather than announcing yourself to the company.

Be sure to know your interviewer’s name and job title.

Make sure your mobile is OFF before entering the interview room.

The Interview:

The interview should be a two way conversation, although you should expect the interviewer to control its direction, and for you to do most of the talking.

Your demeanour will go a long way towards helping to get the job. Always be courteous, friendly and professional. Make eye contact, avoid slouching and rest your hands in your lap rather than fidgeting with a wedding ring, pen or hair.

Once the greeting and introductions have been completed you should be ready to answer the interviewer’s questions.

Always listen carefully to the question and answer it fully in a concise and positive manner. Make sure that you answer the question that was asked rather than regurgitating a prepared answer that contains information that you want to get across during the interview.

If you do not understand the question, ask for clarification – don’t wing it or sit in silence, groping for an answer.

There are some key areas that the interviewer will want to cover, so you should be prepared for questions concerning:

Why have you come for the job?

What can you offer the company?

What type of person are you?

What separates you from the other candidates that they have seen?

Interviews / questions may follow many formats, but one you should be aware of is the competency-based interview. These types of interviews/ questions ask you for specific instances in your experience/ career and the outcomes to your actions/solutions. There are many competencies that a company might look for but common examples might include: leadership, team working, communicating, problem solving or organisational qualities. (For more information on preparing for competency based questions)

It is an idea to have some scenarios in your locker, although again you must ensure you are answering the question asked rather than a prepared version.(If you would like more information regarding the specific questions that might be asked at interview, speak with your consultant who will take you through examples).

Be prepared to answer questions on anything that you have included in your CV (especially interests). If you have let it be known that you regularly play football – be prepared for questions about your team!

Once the interviewer has all the information they need they will draw the interview to a close, typically asking if you have any questions for them. If you have any questions that haven’t been covered during the interview – here is your chance. You can also raise any points of importance that you feel were not covered previously. This is not an opportunity to discuss salary or package details!

Before the interview ends it is useful to ask your interviewer whether they have all the information that they need or whether there are any points that you can elaborate on, or ask if they have any reservations which you can go on to allay – make sure they have all the information they need when they come to make their decision.

Once you have left the company premises, give your consultant a ring to provide feedback on the interview.