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The truth about interviews (Interview Advice)

We have been in the world of recruitment for over thirteen years and in that time we have put hundreds of people through interview. People deal with interviews in different ways but it seems none of us can avoid the pre-interview nerves, particularly if it is a job we have our hearts set on.

So, we've decided to lift the lid on interviews and tell you five truths to help calm your nerves.

An interview is a fact finding session, not an MI5 interrogation:
You might feel that interviewers "grill" you to make you feel uncomfortable or to try and catch you out. This is just not the case. An interviewer will have a list of criteria in front of them and they will have prepared a series of questions to find out whether you meet the criteria.

So, if they ask the same question twice, but in a slightly different way, or if you feel they're asking more questions around a particular topic it just means you haven't given them quite what they need. So, take a breath, think about the criteria hidden in the question (e.g. team working, leadership skills, problem solving) and give an answer that demonstrates you have the knowledge, skills and experience to match the criteria.

To be honest, it's actually a good interview technique to drill down into the detail; the more questions an interviewer asks, the more chance you have to provide key details about what makes you special. 

Interviewers get nervous too:
During an interview there is a lot of pressure on the interviewer. The typical interviewer will run the show and direct the conversation whilst taking notes, thinking of the next question, making sure you've answered the first question all whilst keeping an eye on the time. 

So, when you say hello, be warm, friendly and confident to put you both at ease. Remember, when you watch someone who is nervous give a presentation, you feel anxious for them. By being confident but friendly you will allow the interviewer to focus on what matters - your answers - rather than trying to calm you down.

There is always one...
Sometimes you will get asked that one question that throws you. So here's our best trick...make sure you take a glass of water when offered one at the start. Then, when that tricky question comes along, take a slow sip and give yourself a vital few seconds to think. You'd be amazed how valuable those few seconds can be.

Interviewers want facts, not waffle:
As we mentioned above, an interviewer has a list of criteria to validate you against. So, don't waffle on and on. Instead, focuson the situation, what you did and what the outcome was - this is a tried and tested method of answering interview questions. 

Remember interviewers may have asked that exact question several times already that week or that day. They are human, so their concentration will drift if you talk for too long. Also, remember to ask that that magic close "Does that answer your question?" to see if you have given them what they want.

Interviewers want to know you're keen:
Of course, interviewers want to know you want the job so... Ask for the job! It sounds obvious but by letting the interviewer know you are interested and would accept the role you leave them with a good impression and a positive closure.

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