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An expert’s guide to preparing for face-to-face interviews in today’s job market

An expert’s guide to preparing for face-to-face interviews in today’s job market

8 months ago

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​Today’s job market calls for a carefully thought-out approach to face-to-face interviews. Skills shortages mean good candidates are in high demand, which works in the interviewee’s favour. However, from our own recent conversations with employers, we know that they are keener than ever to hire well. This may mean a tougher selection process than you might have faced the last time you applied for a new job.

Also, the shift to more hybrid working means employers may be looking closely at soft skills as they assess a candidate’s ability to work remotely and communicate well with the team under flexible working conditions.

Taking all that into account, here are a few more tips from our team on performing well during face-to-face interviews in the current market.

Know your stuff

Don’t assume that, because it’s a candidate’s market, you’re off the hook when it comes to doing your research. Find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with and go along armed with some questions too. We always advise candidates to go the extra mile and take time to understand the company’s market and products. If you have experience in these areas, think about what knowledge you can share. If you don’t, think about similarities in the work you have done which might be transferable.

Show them how you work, as well as what you can do

How you come across can be as important as what you know. Often the interviewer is assessing your softer skills and behaviour as well as your ability to meet the skills criteria.Corporate dress code may have relaxed in recent years but presenting yourself well is still important. In an interview setting you should aim to look smart and groomed. Arrive ahead of time, maintain eye contact and elaborate on your answers (but keep it relevant!).

What will you bring to the table?

Employers are hyper aware that people move jobs more easily than they once did. This is one reason why cultural fit is a priority for companies as much as candidates. The interviewer will want to know that you’ll be happy with the way they operate. They’ll also want to suss out how you’ll fit in with the existing team. This is something you won’t be able to assess yourself but listen out for questions that might be angling for information about how you work with others and ways in which you’ve managed team dynamics in your current role. Above all, they’ll be interested to hear what benefit you’ll bring to the business. This is your chance to emphasise what you can achieve for them and the return on investment they can expect from hiring you. Be careful though – this isn’t an episode of The Apprentice. It’s not about bigging yourself up, it’s about giving clear examples that highlight your strengths, experience and ambition.

Keep it positive

Interviewers often ask about past employers or reasons for leaving. This isn’t an opportunity to rubbish the companies you’ve worked for in the past or spill the beans on any issues you’ve been having with your current boss. Make sure everything you say is positive and resist any temptation to criticise or compare.


Just to recap, employers want to make sure they are hiring the right person. It’s an expensive exercise to get wrong so they will be looking beyond your CV to find out what sort of person you are. They also want to hire someone who will make an impact to their business, so make sure you understand what the role entails and how you can contribute before you walk through the door.

If you are interviewing for a job through Thornhvac, we’ll give you all the help you need to prepare. We know the companies we work with really well so we can tell you exactly how they operate and what it’s like to work with them. If you’re looking for your next career move give us a call on 0115 871 4777 or check out our latest HVAC sales jobs.

You might also be interested in some of our other interview advice blogs:

Why video interviews are here to stay and how to succeed at them

How to answer that all important interview question “Is there anything you’d like to ask us?”

7 tips to prepare you for successful online interviews