Image 2022 03 09 T15 46 02

Preparing properly for an interview is so important, and your chances of success are so much greater if you have spent some time beforehand getting yourself ready.

There's a wealth of information available, and when we can, we'll introduce you to our interview coach, Liz Harris, who will set you up for success. We've included some pointers here for you as a start point, but please contact your consultant at Expion if you have any other questions.


Research is crucial. Find out as much information on the company as you can. Study any available literature, websites and latest news, find out about competitors and the state of the industry in general.

Make sure you’ve looked at the company’s LinkedIn page and the profiles of the interviewers. You are likely to be asked how much you know about the business, or you could use it as a good 'opening line' at the beginning of the interview

If the business manufactures products for the consumer, ensure you’ve been into stores to look at the products, the category, and if possible, make a purchase!

Read the job description carefully. Prepare examples of where you have carried out aspects of the role, and where possible, use examples from different roles (although most interviewers focus on your most recent positions)

Picture yourself ‘in role’ and think as though you’re doing the job currently. How would you tackle it? Consider preparing a SWOT analysis and think about what you can bring to the business

Prepare everyday life situations to describe when you have shown desired skills, motivation, confidence and tenacity

First Impressions

Dress appropriately. Most employers expect their staff to be smart so dress accordingly. Interview clothes should be comfortable business attire and should not distract either the interviewer or the wearer. A general rule of thumb is that interview attire should follow the dress code on site, but this is more appropriate at second stage. Dress with INTENT

Firm handshake

Be on time. Always allow time for traffic jams, late buses or trains. Have appropriate phone numbers with you in case you are delayed

Be aware of who you are talking to and use his/her name

Sell yourself

Know who you are. What makes you, you? Consider your personality, life experiences, achievements etc.

Know how to convey to paper who you are. Your CV is you until the interview takes place. Make yourself stand out.

Know how to express who you are. Effective communication is crucial in any interview. The interviewer is interested in finding out primarily about yourself. You should do most of the talking, and this should range from 70 to 80 per cent of the time. Use friends and family to rehearse your examples.

Show you want the job. Interviewers love to meet candidates who show they want the job and want to work for them.

You must have the will to win. Show hunger.

And Good Luck!

Top Jobs

Top Jobs

Blog Bg Image

Related News & Blogs

  • Bbc
    More Jobs than People?

    ​More jobs than people?Not strictly speaking, however this week, according to the BBC and ONS, it was reported that there were more job vacancies, than there were those seeking a role. Does logic, therefore, suggest that if you want a job there’s one for you?Of course not, and we know that. Operating in our markets, Manufacturing and Automotive, it’s about more than a bum on a seat, our clients have specific requirements and skills they require to remain competitive, efficient and growing. So the skills shortage hasn’t evaporated overnight!There are some encouraging trends. People who have been inactive economically, aged between 16 and 64, are moving into work, and job to job moves have been driven by people resigning from a role, rather than being dismissed or made redundant.However, as we see a rise in inflation, now at 9% (18th May 2022), here at Expion, we see more people than ever before citing an increased salary as a reason to move role. Whilst most people say ‘money isn’t everything’ (and it isn’t), it is becoming more understandable as a justifiable reason for people to seek a new role. We reported in our Market Report in April, 59% of workers said a pay rise is essential to them. If it’s not on offer where they are, it’s a compelling reason to look for a role.And whilst flexible working offers the opportunity for some people to manage commuting costs, it will be interesting to see whether there’s a growth in people’s interest in returning more to the office when fuel costs rise again in October. Shivering on a Teams call is likely to become increasingly unpopular when a fully heated office is available!So when there are more jobs than people, what else can employers do?Benefits can be a big draw. We’re seeing employers offering increased benefits packages, bonuses (including sign-on bonuses), and support for those wishing to gain qualifications. Wellness benefits are also on the rise. 24% of employers in our report said they were offering financial support through information, advice, and online resources, and 13% said they were offering actual financial support to workers.Not all of this is forecast to last. With inflation tipped to hit 10%, and industry stating that prices are continuing to rise, economists have once again mentioned the word ‘recession’. If history is to be repeated, this will mean job losses and a rising unemployment rate.So what does this mean for recruitment? We know that recruitment tends to be one of the first industries to be hit when there’s economic uncertainty, and one of the first to recover. It’s fair to say this has certainly played out over the last 2 years. There’s no sign yet of any slowdown, however, the market is unusually overheated at the moment so any initial slowdown is likely to be more a return to normal rather than alarm bells. But in the meantime, what a market to be in. And this is a market that suits all ‘gens’. From Gen X who are mid-career and want a work-life balance and stability before… (well you know) to tech-savvy millennials in Gen Y, and Gen Z who are much more likely to move roles after a shorter period of time. There are opportunities out there for everyone at the moment, so make the most of them!For more information on how we can support you, get in touch with us via this website, or even give us a call!   

  • How recruiters use LinkedIn
    How recruiters use LinkedIn

    How recruiters use LinkedIn and why it’s important that you knowRecruiters are notorious for spending a lot of time on LinkedIn. Why wouldn’t they? It’s a smorgasbord of apparent talent, just waiting for a call.Or is it? If it was that easy, we’d fill all our roles in days, let alone weeks. But if you’re new to the industry, not quite grappled LinkedIn or you’re starting to job search a little more than just being a ‘passive candidate’, here’s what you need to know about how we use the platform, and how you could benefit.Most recruiters spend a lot of money working with LinkedIn. Our primary output is to identify ways to make money – by finding suitable candidates for our roles and to ruffle our feathers towards potential clients who might want to work with us. Why does it matter to you?Well, if you’d like to be approached about a ‘relevant’ new role by a recruiter, even if you’re not actively looking, we’re assuming you’ll want to be found on LinkedIn. Many placements are made via LinkedIn, and according to The Circular Board ‘87% of recruiters or talent scouts regularly use LinkedIn, so it’s not entirely surprising that it offers over 20 million job openings. According to a study, 122 million LinkedIn users received a job interview, while 35.5 million were hired by someone they met through the site’.Those are some stats, so imagine you’ve been approached about a role with a business you’ve always aspired to work for. How can you be found?How do we find people?Well, apart from the obvious (searching for them) we need to find the most suitable people in our market. LinkedIn has fabulous search capability so the detail we can delve into is immense, but we can only search into what’s actually there. So, if you don’t populate your profile with up-to-date, relevant information, we might not find you. We can search by qualifications, degree subject, and even year of graduation. Throw in alongside that job title, employer, industry, location, and even keywords. And with global talent pools, if you want to be noticed, you need to get your personal brand up to scratch.A good photo and banner are increasingly important. But that’s the easy stuff. In fact, the external piece around presenting yourself professionally, accurately, and with enough detail is reasonably straightforward. But it’s the hard stuff that makes people stand out.Why do recruiters like well-connected people?Well-connected people are more likely to be active on LinkedIn, respond to messages, contribute to discussions and be receptive to recommendations. Building connections with relevant people make a difference to a recruiter. You’ll have a well-crafted network and it’s easier for us to reach people in that network if you’re well connected and active. Contributing to your network makes you stand out, you’re easier to find and actually, if you’ve seen us active on the platform, you’re more likely to respond if we approach you.How do I know if my profile’s doing well? Watch your profile views. Once you’ve started to be a little more active on LinkedIn, you’ll notice more people start to look at your profile. Is there anyone there you’d like to connect with? If so, request a connection, but add a note as to why. Ask them to support a post you’ve created. LinkedIn loves engagement, so getting likes, and comments in the first couple of hours of posting is essential. When people look at our profiles, we’re curious – is this someone we can help, someone who might be suitable for a current role, or perhaps finding out if we can help with market insight or even a role.Why does content matter?Content is key. Only around 1% of people who are on LinkedIn post content which is why if you do, you’ll stand out quickly. But what to post? You don’t have to write detailed blogs or create lots of graphics. Find someone else’s content that resonates with you and just repost this with a few comments of your own. You can pin this to the featured section of your profile, and create more of a personal brand that will resonate with recruiters and possible future employers.We’re also looking for businessYes, we are. It’s not a secret but being able to approach a possible client cold is hard work, and really not that enjoyable for either party. And I use the word ‘enjoy’ with a hint of sarcasm. It’s horrible. As recruiters, we also get bombarded by ‘sales’ InMails and they’re equally off-putting.But sharing content that is relevant and adds value to the market can bring inbound business. Sharing knowledge (which we think we’re pretty good at) helps others. And whether you use it now or in the future, we hope that we’ve made a difference, and actually, you’ll see some value in talking to us.There’s also much said these days about candidate experience. We’ve talked about this a lot ourselves. In fact, most of our new business comes from candidates who’ve had a good experience with us. Or they’ve consumed some content, worked with our interview coach Liz, or we’ve helped with a CV Critique. All of this builds towards building new business, and if you’re looking for a recruiter to work with, look at their testimonials on LinkedIn or their website to get a feel for what others have experienced. We share our testimonials because we’re proud of them, and also because it shows others we’re just us. Expion.   

  • Cooperation
    The First 100 Days

    ​The first 100 daysThey say the first 100 days in a new role are the most critical. It’s a term most commonly used for politicians – what will they do, say, deliver? It started with Roosevelt, who achieved much during his first 100 days, it became a barometer for the success of future presidents. Think back to Obama’s inauguration and the pressure to deliver was relentless. It’s also a common measure for people starting in a new role. And it’s not unusual for businesses to ask a candidate at advanced interview stages to prepare and present what they’d do in their first 100 days.So, what do you do?Well, whilst it’s all down to personal preference, the role, and business circumstances, there are some common things ‘to do’ that we see that are widely regarded as beneficial. We talk to candidates after they’ve started and dig into what they’re doing, and how things are going. Where are they achieving success, and how have they gone about it?Here are our thoughts on how to navigate through those first 3 months, and make an impact.Build relationshipsYou have your start date, first-day arrangements and hopefully, your line manager and the team have been in touch during your notice period. But it’s up to you to also make contacts and start to establish yourself before you walk through the door on day 1. Connect with your team, peers, and leaders within the business before you start. If you’re invited to visit to meet the team, have lunch, take it! Making contact early will also prepare them for your arrival and be a supporter of your appointment from the early stages.Make time to answer any questions they might have of you and ask questions of them. This is a golden opportunity to prepare for any upcoming projects or business changes. It’s also a great psychological way of feeling that you’re almost there which can also be helpful if you have a longer notice period.Set expectationsUnderstanding what the expectations are of you is crucial. Get this wrong and you probably won’t be around for long. Spend time with your boss, peers, and others in the business – it’s not just about KPIs, it’s also about upholding the values of the business and fitting in. Chances are, if the recruitment process has been thorough, these shouldn’t be areas that are challenging, just more affirmation of what you already know and believe yourself.Think about what you’re going to say about yourself. Sounds obvious, but you’ll have a lot of intros so making sure you’ve got a concise patter to let people know who you are, what you do, and where you’ve come from will make sure you give a good first impression.Be cautiousListen hard during these first few months. Avoid making judgements and coming to conclusions quickly. There are a lot of things that will have happened in the business or team in the past that you won’t know about, and people react differently to new ideas, team members, and change. Give people a chance, as you’ll want them to for you. According to Paul Wolfe, former SVP at Indeed, writing for Forbes in 2021, “When something is done a certain way, don’t judge. Instead, ask questions to seek understanding. Don’t assume it’s wrong. I find that with new hires, ‘you shouldn’t do it that way’ turns people off. Become part of the team. Respect the work that’s been done to get them there.”Quick winsTry to find some quick wins. Adding value early gives people a great first impression, affords you their time and their ears, and generates goodwill that will ultimately play out as you develop in your role. Many people we’ve spoken to have done just this. From a Factory General Manager who found gaps in financial reports that highlighted big savings, to a Health & Safety Manager who implemented so much change in his first 3 months, his ideas were adopted worldwide to great acclaim.Longer-term ideasThinking longer-term will also cement you more in the business, and people will take you seriously. According to Forbes, ‘You don’t need a team to lead. In the first 30 days keep an eye out for opportunities to lead without yet acting on them. In general, employees who show leadership are more likely to be promoted and less likely to be let go.’And imagining yourself there long-term is good for the soul. We speak to candidates who’ve found themselves having taken the wrong role. It’s uncomfortable and can be painful, and we can spot those who are running for the door. Candidates who have found their place speak differently. They have the mindset to be able to evaluate correctly where they are, where they want to be, and the best path to take.And did you make it?Wolfe states that during the first 100 days, you should have made 2 significant wins. They could be from the plan you created early on, or it could be achieving specific goals or objectives that you’ve been set. Many businesses are now putting in place key milestones for new team members to ensure both parties have met each other’s expectations (remember, it goes both ways), and it’s not uncommon for probation, or a salary rise, to be hinged on certain achievements.Reflecting on the first 100 days can be insightful, and should certainly set you up well for the next hundred, and the next… 

Back to the top