Print this page

Interviews: Employer perspectives

Interviews: Employer perspectives

Interviews: Employer perspectives

Personality and making a good first impression

It’s very important in a growing business to get people that have the right fit and we focus a lot on people having the right personality. With everything else to think about when going to an interview, you sometimes forget to be yourself and focus too much on giving ‘textbook’ answers. People always stand out when they’re enthusiastic and have a personality much more than those that give perfect answers. The tip is – be yourself!


When deciding on interview clothing there is a key thing you should consider that a lot of people don’t. Firstly, what is the company culture at the company? If the dress code is smart, then the 3 piece suit would be a wise choice, however if the office is full of people in shorts and flip flops then it may be a bit much. We aren’t saying also wear shorts and flip flops but in these situations smart trousers, shoes and shirt may be more appropriate and ensure neither party feels uncomfortable. It would also show you have done your research on the company and demonstrate your ability to fit nicely into their company culture.

Graduate Recruitment Bureau

Importance of research

We’re looking for someone who demonstrates knowledge of the industry, listing multiple competitors and discussing how we compete with them. We’re also interested in hearing what candidates think differentiates us from our competitors and what our USP is.


We would expect candidates to talk confidently about the research they have conducted into our company and the role they had applied for. They must demonstrate they have read our website and other sources of information and must convey they have digested the information and are not just repeating back our company history. The candidate must express a passion for the role and the company and demonstrate why they think this role is suitable for them. Excellent candidates will also have looked into our competitors and will be able to highlight our unique selling point.


Reading the website is just the start - you should read about the products, the industry, the challenges. You're articulate, you're clever - you studied for a degree, you got good grades. You woke up early, spent time getting impeccably dressed. Hair, nails, shoes - all perfect. You made it to interview! Why would you not spend a few hours researching the job you really want.


Structuring answers

Think about the skills employers are looking for and try to think of answers and examples which demonstrate that skill. Competency-based questions are commonly asked in interviews so preparing examples will be of real benefit to the candidate. Furthermore, be prepared to be asked what you know about the role and have good questions to ask at the end of the interview.

Baker Tilly

Structure your evidence using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result).  The ‘Action’ section of your answer is the most important. Finish with a positive result, and make it measurable where possible.

The Co-operative Group

Get to the point of the questions – applicants often spend too much time waffling and not actually answering the question.


When answering any competency-based questions look at the competencies and see what experiences you have that display this competency. These could be from your personal life, university, work experience, club, society, travel etc. For example when looking at our consumer and customer focus competency, work out who was the customer in your example situation – if you organized a ball for your society, the customers would be the students who were attending.


Any questions - What to ask the interviewer

‘Do you have any questions?’ The only answer to this question is ‘Yes’! This is your opportunity to shine. Have questions prepared before you have even entered your interview so that you will have things to ask without fail, for example, ‘why is the position vacant?’, ‘what are the long term goals of the company and the department’, ‘what is the company culture like?’, ‘what is a standard day in this role like?’ and asking if the interviewers themselves like working there and why. Asking such questions shows your interest in the company and expresses long term intentions.

Graduate Recruitment Bureau

Employer's Tips

More videos