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"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail"


Your aim here is to find out a few key bits of information about the organisation. Things such as any recent press coverage they may have had; any recent success, such as winning new contracts or being selected for any business awards.

This will:

a) Show that you care enough to bother to find out

b) Show interest in the industry/sector


It's important that you not only research the organisation but that you understand their sector/industry and most importantly the role in which they would require you to undertake. (This is where being put forward by halo works in your favour as we do most of the hard work for you!)

Ask Questions

You can begin asking questions as soon as you arrive. Quite often the Receptionist will know as much about the organisation as a member of Senior Management and can be surprisingly well-connected. In smaller companies it is also not unusual for the receptionist to be the Managing Director's Secretary. Always be ready to react positively and enthusiastically to any opportunity that arises.

You can be as direct or as in-direct as you feel comfortable.


"Am I the first person to be interviewed today"

(Depending on how this question is answered it may give you a bit of an insight into the competition you may or may not have)

"Have you worked here long?"

(This can give you an indication as to whether the receptionist is enjoying working for the company)

Impress the interviewer by taking your questioning beyond the routine detail of the position. Thoughtful and strategic-type questions about the job demonstrate both your insight and understanding of the position.

Suitable questions to ask in an interview:

"Is there anything in particular from my CV that drew you to the decision to interview me?"

"Are you happy with the way this role was being fulfilled previously or are there changes you'd like me to implement immediately?

"When, ideally would you like the new person to start?"

Unsuitable Questions to ask in an Interview:

"What is your sick procedure?"

"How much time do you have off at Christmas?"

"Do you have smoking breaks?"

What to expect from your interviewer

You can never be quite sure how interview questions will be phrased, and no matter how hard you prepare you'll have to think on your feet and find something sensible to say when you get asked something you weren't expecting. However, you can greatly calm your nerves and prepare yourself if you anticipate the questions you're most likely to be asked, such as:

"Why should we employ you?"

"What interests you about the job?"

"Why are you applying to this company?"

These questions should not be seen as a test to see if you're good enough, but as an opportunity to demonstrate that you have the qualities relevant to the job and the company.

The belief behind the interview process is that past performance is the best guide to future success. An employer will choose criteria that you must fulfil and the interview is the chance to prove that you possess them.


Remember the answers to the questions you asked the Receptionist as you may be able to use them in the interview and impress the interviewer with your inside knowledge!

Although being interviewed can be nerve racking it is very important to remain calm and collected and soak up as much information as you can from the interviewer. You may well be invited back for a second interview so remembering key details will inevitably impress.

Also you don't want to ask a question you've already asked in your first interview!

What to wear?

Here it is probably best to seek advice from your halo consultant. They will have been out to see the client, and will know what they expect from candidates on interview and can advice you on how formal to dress. However it is always advisable to avoid denim and short skirts.

Last but by no means least BE ON TIME!! - Do a dummy run, plan your route well in advance and take in to account possible delays, and weather conditions.

"You only get one chance to make a first impression"

.........So let's make it a good one!