How to impress at interview

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You’ve been invited for an interview for your dream role. You need to stand head and shoulders above the competition, and it’s important to get the basics right – which include a smart, business-like appearance and doing your homework.

According to Greg Higgins, Business Development, PDC Healthcare, there are some specific dos and don’ts that candidates should bear in mind. The old adage, ‘Fail to prepare or prepare to fail’ always applies. “The candidate should know the organisation they have applied to and have rehearsed presenting themselves in alignment with the requirements of the role.”

‘Fail to prepare or prepare to fail’

Greg adds that “alignment of the candidate’s skills, knowledge, values and behaviours with the requirements of the business” are vital – so familiarise yourself with not only the job description, but also the company’s culture and values. Recruiters are looking for more than just a skills match.


Top tips for interview success

Clare Jones – Senior Consultant; North West, North Wales & Yorkshire; CHASE (Pf’s CSO of the year 2017), shares her top tips to help you hone your interview technique:

Get clued up on the details

Research the company and the marketplace. Consider the opportunities to make yourself stand out; have you spoken to competitors, or customers for example? The more effort you go to the more confident you will feel.

Structure your answers

There are different answer models you can use; we recommend considering SCAR – Situation, Challenges, Action, Result, or STARL – Situation, Task, Action, Result, Learnt. These will work well for all competency questions.

Be clear about the challenge

Prepare yourself by considering how the role will challenge you. Being self-aware and having clear insight into your own strengths and weaknesses makes you look like a thoughtful and responsible candidate.

Ask relevant & insightful questions

Have your questions prepared in advance and use your judgement on the day to determine whether they’ve already been covered.


What not to do at interview

People move on from jobs for many different reasons, that’s understandable, but Greg warns that interviews should never be seen as the time to confide in your interviewer about issues you may have in your current role: “Sometimes candidates are job hunting because they are having difficulties in their current role. The interview is not a therapy session. Remember, every word you utter should be to credibly sell yourself for the role,” he advises.

Do you really want the job? Recruiters can spot those who really want the role, and also those who don’t, so make sure that your enthusiasm comes over in all that you do before, during, and after the interview. “Demonstrate that you have made an effort, prepare for the interview and communicate that you want the role,” says Greg. “It’s amazing how many candidates give the impression that the role they are being interviewed for is part of a milk round of interviews they are doing to get a job and they would actually prefer another role.”    Go to

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Graduate guide: 5 interview tips to help you land your dream job

How to respond to tough interview questions

The art of being interviewed

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