Preparing yourself for Interview

Preparing yourself for Interview

by Cathy Litton


The interview is a formal means of assessing your suitability as a candidate.  Each interaction you have with your future employer (and recruitment consultant for that matter) feeds into the bigger picture and creates the ‘initial impression’ of you.  Use this knowledge to your advantage, be polite and friendly with the person interviewing you from the minute you arrive to greet their receptionist to the time you leave the practice.

You need to physically project confidence.  Your body language must reinforce the skills and experience you are promoting to the client.  Your non-verbal cues, eye contact, hand motions, posture and tone of your voice are all critical components to the success of your interview.

Prepare meaningful anecdotes.  No matter what level position you are interviewing for you can expect to be asked behavioural based interview questions.  Essentially, these questions require you to come up with examples from your past working experiences, for example; ‘Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult co-worker or a difficult patient’.  Most candidates can tell a decent story but almost everyone leaves off the impact the story had on them at the time, the patient and/or their colleagues and the practice.

Interviews can be daunting.  We share with you our 10 top interview tips:

  1. Research the practice – everyone gets nervous in interview.  Having some confidence is a solid first step to overcoming nerves.  You can tell a lot about a practice from their website.  Look for reasons that you want to work for that practice.  The employer will be impressed by any candidate who is able to provide compelling reasons as to why they want to work for the practice and what appeals most to you about the position.

  1. Research the position – read the position description, job summary or job advertisement.  Talk with your Recruitment Consultant about specific job requirements and how suitable this position is for you. 

  1. Research yourself – you need to be self-aware.  Have good look at what you have achieved, the way you have achieved that result and the skills you developed or demonstrated along the way.  This type of reflection helps you understand your strengths.  It gives you confidence and helps you overcome nerves.

  1. Interview insight – each interview you attend will be different to the one before.  Each client you meet with is likely to have a different agenda and style.  Focus on your workplace achievements when fielding their questions.  Work hard to build a rapport with the person interviewing you, after all they will be assessing your fit for their practice! 

  1. Practice – most clients will introduce behavioural based interview questions.  This means, they will expect you to provide specific examples of where you have demonstrated the skill they are seeking.  We strongly suggest practicing for an interview and seeking professional help from your Recruitment Consultant.  

  1. Build a rapport – be friendly and positive about your previous work experiences.  Avoid sharing negative experiences about your previous employment.  One of the best ways to relax is to assume the interviewer is on your side.  The person interviewing you is on your side, or at the very least they will be approaching the interview in a professional manner. 

  1. Give yourself appropriate time – leave yourself plenty of preparation time to arrive to the interview early.  Rushing breeds panic and panic can often lead to a negative first impression.  Allowing waiting time for an interview gives you time to compose yourself, gather your thoughts and be mentally prepared.

  1. Be yourself – you wont be doing yourself or anyone else any favours if you try and suppress your personality, or pretend to be something that you aren’t.  Be true to yourself, keep consistent throughout the interview.  Allow the client to get to know the ‘real you’. 

  1. Relax – whilst we are all hoping that this may be the ideal position for you, sometimes as it turns out, its not.  There are other opportunities out there.  If you keep this in mind the you’ll remove unnecessary pressure from  yourself that this is your only chance to perform.  If you think the interview is not going so well, relax and use it as practice for the next one.  Sometimes you can use this technique to recover an interview that hasn’t started out so well.

  1.  An insider’s tip – learn how to confidently talk about yourself and the transitional skills you can offer to a prospective practice.  You don’t want to come across as arrogant or corny, or worse, desperate.  If you can learn how to self-promote in a convincing manner you are already a step ahead of your competition. Let the team at LA help you with techniques on how to best talk about yourself – specifically your skills, knowledge and career achievements.