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Interview Tips For Candidates

Benjamin Franklin

Interview Tips For Candidates

You have your job interview scheduled; congratulations. Now is the time to prepare for your interview. It would help if you showed your potential employer why you are the right person for the job. To do this, here is a list of preparation techniques to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of receiving that offer letter. My interview tips for candidates;


Candidates wrongly think that an interview is a one-way street. You sit there and answer questions fired at you. On the contrary, interviews are a two-way conversation and an opportunity for the employer to find out more about you, past your CV. They will ask probing questions about your experience to assess whether you are a suitable candidate for the position and fit into the business culture.
PreparingYou know they will ask about your CV, so ensure that you prepare by thinking about your qualifications, skills and experience and that you can talk about them confidently. In particular, how are they relevant and valuable to the position you are applying for?
Your interview is also an opportunity for you to ask your questions. At the first interview, have questions ready regarding the job and business organisation and culture. My advice around more delicate questions such as salary and benefits should be avoided as a direct question. If you are asked directly, then sure answer. However, these direct questions can put off your employer and should be left for negotiation once a job offer has been made.


Do your homework

Never turn up at an interview without doing your homework on the business. The first port of call should be the website, social media pages such as LinkedIn, news articles readily found on google. Next, ask your recruiter if they have any insights they can share with you that is not readily known or if they can give you some additional background that perhaps the hiring manager has shared with them. For example, what does their annual report look like?

Dress code and appearance

This used to be an obvious one, however, not so much anymore. A young tech start-up will not be sat in a formal business suit with well-polished shoes; it could be an intelligent casual interview.
However, sitting in front of a director for a senior position will no doubt require formal attire.
Ask your consultant what the client’s dress code will be

Travel and timing

Never arrive late for an interview. You are closing your application before you have even sat down. Yes, sometimes it is out of your control, but this is only acceptable in extreme circumstances.
Plan your journey and allow for possible travel delays. If you arrive early, do not enter reception until at least 15 minutes before. You are coming too early and putting pressure on the hiring manager to see that you will not receive well.
With Covid, you may be asked to complete a lateral flow test before coming onto the site. You must build this 30 minutes into your arrival.
If for any reason you are going to be late. You must contact your consultant or your interviewer immediately and let them know you may be late.

The Interview – What to expect

There are many forms of interviews. For example, you may be having a one on one, a panel or a group interview. Ask your consultant to confirm the format of your interview beforehand. In addition, you may be asked to take a psychometric or aptitude test before your interview, depending on the role or the business policy.panel-interview
There are many different interview styles, and each interviewer has their their style and approach. Some will ask set uniformed questions whilst others will take a more relaxed and informal approach with open questions such as “tell me about yourself”, leaving you to do most of the talking. The majority of interviews will be a mix of the two, so prepare for both.

Two-way communication

As I mentioned earlier, an interview is a two-way conversation. Answer the questions but do not be afraid to ask questions in return and show your personality, expertise and interest in the role.

You must sell yourself by telling the employer the details of your relevant skills and experience matching critical parts of the job specification that you have received.
Do not be overbearing, though; it’s a natural conversation, so do not talk over your interviewer or try to monopolise the conversation.
Ask how the job contributes to the success, efficiency and profitability of the organisation. Show them that you have done your research and that you are keen to join them.
Don’t give negative or bad news if you are not asked for it, and don’t criticise previous employers or jobs. The key is to turn negative information into positive information.

The next steps

Agree on the next steps of the process, such as who will contact you to tell you if you have been successful and when?
Have a light conversation on the way out with the interviewer. Ask them how they thought you did? Did you enjoy that? Do you have more questions which you would like to ask quickly? What are they doing the rest of the day? keep it light and a natural conversation

After the Interview

Tell your consultant how the interview went and get feedback from them.


Everything is negotiable. If the final offer is not what you had hoped for, ask the consultant to talk to the client. Say that you like the job, but the package is not up to your expectations and ask if the company can be flexible. However, there should be no surprises if you have been briefed correctly from the start, and your expectations should be in line with the salary on offer.


Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

This is so true. If you do not prepare for your interview, how can you possibly think you will be successful? It is essential to cover all the bases, about the job, the business, the culture, where they have been, where they are going. What’s in the news? What does the annual report say? It is better to be over-prepared

If you are getting ready for an interview and I can help in any way, please reach out to me, and I will be happy to give guidance and advice. To find out how we can help you find your next food talent, get in touch with us on 07835426149 email us here [email protected] or connect on LinkedIn

Those are my Interview Tips For Candidates

Best of luck!

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Scott Williams

Scott Williams

I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit - Search & Selection. Passionate about the Food Manufacturing industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.

I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long-standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.