Preparing for a face-to-face interview

Interviews come in all shapes and sizes, from a casual chat over a chai latte to a fearsome panel interrogation, but our basic advice holds true for each of these situations and is your starting place for future job application success.

Do your homework!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and keep saying it – proper preparation is vital. Learn all you can about the company you hope will be your new employer. Hit Google and check out the website and any other material online from local newspapers, the national press and trade publications. Have they got a Twitter account or a Facebook page? Research the firm’s history and make yourself familiar with how the current business operates, including the team structure, as well as future plans for expansion. Perhaps a big, new contract is in the offing? This information is a map which will direct you to the right answers at interview. It’s your chance to impress by showing you have genuine interest and enthusiasm. At Rayner Personnel, you can rely on us to help you with exactly this kind of background research, so just ask.

Start with the basics:

Remember when you were at school and the first rule for exam success was to read the question? Well interviews are no different – re-read the job description and make a checklist of the skills and experience you have which is directly applicable to the post. Be prepared to talk clearly and confidently about how your CV qualifies you for the job and if there are any gaps, be ready to show off your flexibility and adaptability by flagging up how you have added new skills in the past. It’s all about identifying how you are the best fit for the company, so concentrate on the benefits you bring to the table such as familiarity with the industry or systems.

Keep calm and stay focused:

Try and keep cool. A barrage of questions can make even the most confident interviewee stutter and stumble. Don’t be afraid to pause and if you don’t understand a question, say so – it’s far better than rambling or simply getting it wrong. Collect your thoughts and carry on, keeping to the question.

Stay upbeat:

The first and last impression you give the interviewer should be positive, so they are in no doubt you would be an asset to their organisation. Leave any negativity at home and don’t grumble or gripe about previous employers when explaining why you left previous roles. If you felt over-worked and under-appreciated at your last post, suggest you left because you were looking for a more fulfilling career. If a period of redundancy has left a gap in your employment history, show how you used the time to add to your professional skillset or personal development. You can also suggest that the opportunity to reflect on your career has made it clear the job you’re now applying for is the next step you’ve been waiting for. If the interviewer throws you a curveball with a quirky question, embrace the chance to stand out from the crowd with an innovative, memorable and most importantly positive answer. Where exactly would you like to be in five years? Think about it…

"RAYNER PERSONNEL PLACED ME IN MY CURRENT ROLE AS HEAD OF NEW HOMES FOR MARSH & PARSONS. I FOUND THEM EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL AND ENTHUSIASTIC. I AM HUGELY APPRECIATIVE OF ALL THE ASSISTANCE AND GUIDANCE THEY GAVE ME. I WOULD USE RAYNER PERSONNEL AGAIN." SIOBHAN STUANTON - ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR NEW HOMES, MARSH & PARSONS NEW HOMES, MARSH & PARSONS

Testimonials

But don't just take our word for it!
Check out what a few of our clients have to say...

Sini Chandran MARLA
Sini Chandran MARLA Property Manager at Foxtons

Ian is the best recruiter I’ve ever come across. Throughout the entire process he was instinctive, helpful, prompt and kept me up to date at every stage. He encouraged me stay positive during the different stages of the recruitment process and I felt I could approach him with any query I had. He is truly passionate about his job and goes above and beyond any other recruiter I’ve dealt with!

SIMON WOOD
SIMON WOOD CANDIDATE

Having received countless calls from recruitment agencies that I could not wait to get off the phone to, I received a call from Rayner Personnel. As my CV was not up to date they offered me a role and when I mentioned my skill set he immediately offered me a role which matched for a very respectable company. Rayner Personnel were incredibly helpful and had the patience of a saint whilst going through the interview process and I was successful in my job application with the company. I cannot recommend Rayner Personnel enough!

NEIL SIPPITT
NEIL SIPPITT CANDIDATE

I just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you for the help you provided me on my job search. The communication was fantastic and after only speaking to you for the first time within the hour I had multiple job interviews that were relevant to my search criteria. I would happily recommended you Rayner Personnel to anyone within the industry.

SIMON WEBB
SIMON WEBB GROUP PRODUCTION MANAGER, GPEA LIMITED

There are two reasons I would recommend Rayner Personnel. The first is their customer service: as a candidate looking for work I was always able to speak to someone quickly and get answers when I needed them. Secondly, and most importantly, they understand their industry, clients and candidates: Rayner Personnel were able to put me in front of businesses that presented a challenge I would find engaging, and at the same time I would be of benefit to the employer. They thought outside of the box too to come up with ideas for where to place me that others wouldn't have thought of and couldn't have had the contacts to make happen. This is a professional, friendly service that delivers.

SIOBHAN STAUNTON
SIOBHAN STAUNTON ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR – NEW HOMES, MARSH & PARSONS

Rayner Personnel placed me in my current role as Head of New Homes for Marsh & Parsons. I found them extremely professional and enthusiastic. I am hugely appreciative of all the assistance and guidance they gave me. I would use Rayner Personnel again.

We supply talent to...

Marsh & Parsons
James Pendleton
Townends
Purple Bricks
Spicerhaart
Proffitt & Holt Partnership
TheFrostPartnership
Savills
Cancellors
LSL Property Services plc
Arun Estates
Romans
Gibbs Gillespie
Robsons
Fine & Country