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Career Advice

07 Jun 14

How to Impress at Interviews

Your CV may have got your foot in the door, but now it’s your time to really shine! When you are a registered candidate of Flow your consultant will give you a thorough pre-interview briefing to ensure you go in to your interview relaxed and confident.

Interviews are an opportunity to sell yourself and your abilities face-to-face in a relatively short space of time. It’s just as hard conducting an interview as it is being interviewed – both require training and technique to succeed. Make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to understand why you are right for the post.

Preparation is vital; having lots of examples and achievements will support your case. You should always take a pad of paper to the interview and use the first page to write down any prompts you need. This isn’t an exam situation – the interviewers want to see you do your best and really understand you.

Pre-Interview Preparation

It’s really important that you have familiarised yourself with all parts of the job spec, person spec and the organisation’s website. Go through the job spec point by point and write down two examples for each point and what you achieved in each case. Most employers use competency based questioning; this means they are looking for evidence that you have done similar things before, but it will also help your case to make them aware of what you achieved. This shows success and also your awareness that results do matter. Make sure you know about the organisation’s aims and look at recent news on their website and on Google. Ask your consultant at Flow Caritas for further information on the post. One of the benefits of working with us is that we will find out the things you can’t before you meet the client. We have developed the ‘Flow Magic Wand’ which is a proven technique for succeeding at job interviews and our research has shown that it can improve your chances of success by as much as 40 per cent!

The Flow Magic Wand

At the top of the first page of your A4 pad, write down 6 questions that you want to ask at the interview. You can ask your Flow Caritas consultant for help here, but they should be intelligent questions that show you have thought about the role and the organisation. When you go into the interview room ask the interviewers if you can take notes – they will answer yes, then open your pad to the questions. As the interview proceeds add any further questions or cross out any they answer. At the end of the interview they will ask you if you have any more questions. It is key that you look at your pad and obviously check them off. At this stage either say no, they have answered the questions already, or yes, you do have others.


When you ask if you can take notes at the beginning of an interview you are saying to the interviewer that you are going to take an active part in the interview. When you open your pad and they see the notes and questions, they will see that you have done your preparation! As the interview proceeds and you either cross out questions they have asked or take further notes, they will see that you are taking an active part – not just answering questions, but thinking and planning. At the end of the interview there is nothing worse than being asked if you have any more questions and saying no. Even if they genuinely have answered your questions, if you don’t appear to refer to any written questions and just say no then it looks like you are not interested. Referring to your questions obviously tells them that you planned, took part and have all the answers you need.

If you want the job (which hopefully you do), then tell them in the way that you feel most comfortable. An employer does not want to risk offering a job to someone they don’t think really wants it. They don’t want to be seen as second or even third choice. Finally, as soon as you leave the building, call your Flow Caritas consultant and let them know how it went.