Read the job description and advert thoroughly.

  • Decide what key personal strengths are important and choose about 5 e.g. communication, customer focus, planning & organising, innovation/creativity, commercial acumen.
  • Think of situations where you can demonstrate these skills.
  • Think of 3-4 key projects and look at how you can demonstrate these competencies.
  • For each of these projects think about what you did, what worked well, why it was successful, what didn't go so well, what you would do differently next time.
  • Work using a spider diagram.
  • Do you have an example from your experience for each part of the job description/person specification?

Think about your most recent role and company.

  • What you liked about it, what you didn't like, how you developed the role, achievements, progression in company, targets and goals set.
  • Business type, business goals, how you worked to the business goals, culture, how compares to new company, what you could bring from this company to new role, why you're leaving.

What are your future plans?

  • Career goals, where this role could lead you, what you need to do to reach next goal.

Prepare a potted history.

  • Think concisely about your education/career to date, overview of choices made and how jobs led from one to the next; be prepared to explain any gaps in your CV.

Research the company.

  • Ensure you have a good awareness of the company you are applying to – competitors, market place, customer base.
  • Look at website and annual report.

Prepare for questions you might be asked (the above preparation will have helped).

  • Typical areas covered will be education, career history, career goals and aspirations, this specific opportunity, personal life and hobbies.
  • What have been your main achievements?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • What are the downsides?
  • What types of problems are you regularly required to solve?
  • What process do you go through to solve these problems?
  • What motivates you?
  • Can you describe a situation when you have had to deal with a difficult person?  What did you do?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you have had to persuade or influence someone to your way of thinking?
  • How would you describe good customer service?
  • Can you tell us about a time when you have had to think on your feet?
  • How do you organise your time?
  • How do you develop relationships with the people you work with?
  • What makes a good team?
  • How would other members of your team describe you?
  • What are the skills of a good team leader?
  • How would you motivate a team?
  • How do you ensure your skills are up to date?
  • What is your attitude to change?  Have you experienced it much at work?
  • How do you spend your time outside of work?
  • You could also get asked some “off the wall” questions such as, “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put into a blender, how would you get out?"
  • Period of notice?  Other job offers?  Current salary? Other benefits you currently receive?  Salary expectations?

Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask at the interview and show your enthusiasm.  Remember, you are interviewing them to see if you like the role and company, just as much as they are interviewing you!  Here are some examples.

  • How many other people work in the team?  What are their job roles?
  • If the job is in a new department, ask about the reason for establishing the department and what the plans for growth are.
  • If the job is an old one, ask who you are replacing and why they have moved on.
  • Ask about appraisals and performance reviews – how often, will they be tied to pay increases or bonuses?
  • How will performance be measured?
  • Can you describe your ideal employee? This is a great one – use it early on to find out what they are expecting so you can tailor your later responses to suit them!
  • A slightly subtler approach than the last point would be to ask, “what skills and experience would you say are necessary for someone to succeed in this job?”.
  • Not suitable for senior management, but asking interviewers what they like about working at the company can be a good way to start a conversation about your new workplace.
  • Likewise, asking your interviewer when they started with the company and why they have stayed with the company.  In a polite way – try not to ask this with a grimace on your face! You want to get them talking a little – it strengthens your relationship with them just that little bit more which can make a difference.
  • (If you are being interviewed by the MD / owner) Hypothetical question – if you had to leave, how would you like to see the company managed?
  • What scope for progress and promotion is there within the company?
  • What kind of work will I be responsible for over the next year?
  • Will I be expected to work late nights or at the weekend?
  • Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?
  • What makes this company stand apart from the competition?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important attribute / achievement / quality you would like to see from me within my trial period?
  • Do you have any questions about my ability to do this job?  The point you are trying to make with this is to show them your proactive attitude and confidence. This could add a positive to your interview if other areas haven’t been great (lack of experience, etc.).
  • Are you interviewing more people for this position?
  • Are there any areas you feel I would need to work on in order to become your top choice for the job?
  • Do your employees socialise outside of the workplace?  It is worth getting an idea of how the office life will be – perhaps ask if they have any company sports teams, etc. Basically ask them to quantify the atmosphere of the office.
  • How would you describe the core responsibilities of the position? Only if this hasn’t been covered.
  • Will the job involve much travelling?  If so, how much?
  • When are you looking for someone to start?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • Would you like a list of references or any additional information from me?
  • Does the job involve any form of training?  How will this be implemented and monitored?
  • (If there are other people in a similar job role to you).  What attributes / traits would you say are necessary for someone to be successful within this job role?
  • Could you explain the company structure to me?  This lets them clarify the management and departmental structure within the company.  It will also help you get a better idea of how your role will fit into the company.
  • Does the job role have any pressing concerns that you will need me to tackle as soon as I start?  This could refer to accounts / clients that need managed because someone left, or it could be asking them for a timeline of priorities if you are setting up a new department.
  • Does the team or job role I’ll be working in have any specific weaknesses right now that you would like to be address?  This is a softer version of the previous question.
  • What software / systems does your company use?  Know your industry so you know how to ask this question properly.
  • What are the company’s plans for the future?  This can be a great question – it will allow management to boast and you can nod and seem like you are interested.  Try to keep this discussion going with some follow up questions about the interviewers answer.
  • What challenges might I face in this position?
  • Have any previous employees failed to perform in this position and what would you say was the reason for that?
  • What misconceptions do people have about the organisation?
  • What are the company’s core business goals?
  • How effectively have these goals been communicated over the past 12 months? These 2 questions are great although they can throw off less organised managers and could work as a negative!
  • How does the company reward or recognise outstanding work and excellence?
  • Will my role be limited to what has been outlined in my job description or will I be expected to take on other tasks as needed? If so, to what extent do you foresee this being the case? 
  • How do I compare to the other people you have interviewed so far?

​Source: http://jobseekersadvice.com/