The FJWilson interview trilogy, part one: Preparing for your interview

Anthony Haynes writes: At FJWilson we’re in the process of producing a series of practical resources on talent acquisition and management. Some of them are designed for employers and some for candidates. This week’s post provides an example of the latter. It constitutes the first part of our Interview trilogy, which overall  provides advice on:

  1. how to prepare for an interview;
  2. what to do on the day of the interview;
  3. what to do in the interview itself.

The resources, which will be available in print as well as online, are intended to be selective and crunchy — they aim to provide firm and succinct advice on the points that we think matter first.

We hope you’ll find the following helpful — and if you have any comments or suggestions on how to develop the resource, you’re welcome to post them.


Preparing for your interview

  1. Research the employer in the round (that is, avoid restricting your research to only those aspects that are directly relevant to the opportunity).
  2. In particular:
    • read the employer’s website thoroughly: get a feel for how the employer addresses various stakeholders (for example, customers, suppliers, investors). Avoid focusing only on what interests you about the employer: focus too on what interests the employer;
    • read the employer’s annual report;
    • read the employer’s posts on social media. In particular, seek to get a feel for the ‘voice’ of the brand;
    • set up a Google alert so that you gather the latest news and opinion on the employer.
  3. If the opportunity has come to you via a recruitment agency, ask them to provide you with a brief on the employer and the team.
  4. Get to know the job description thoroughly. Approach the task like revising for an exam.
  5. By analysing (a) the job description and (b) the brief, derive a list of likely competency-based questions to use for practice.
  6. If you know who the interviewers will be, research them online (nb LinkedIn) and, where possible, amongst your acquaintances.

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