Interview tips: How to prepare for a recruiter meeting

Now that we are well and truly into the New Year there is a major increase in candidates looking for new science jobs. From our perspective it is always heart-warming when we work with a candidate through the entire recruitment process, getting to know them and helping them land a job they’ve been working towards.

From my side, if I am working with a candidate and they are called to interview for a position, I want to make sure that they feel as comfortable and confident as they can going in to meet with a company. It is completely natural to have some nerves going into a science job interview, but there are steps that you can take to feel as prepared as possible.

One aspect that is important is organising to meet with your recruitment consultant in person before your interview. This simple meeting can make the world of difference for your preparation and provide you with so many benefits, however one thing I’ve seen that so many people neglect to do is prepare for this meeting.

Here are some important points that will help you get the most out of your preparation session:

Do your homework

When you meet with your recruitment consultant before an interview it is important that you give them something to work with, remember we are there to help but we need you to also put in the work because we aren’t the ones going for the interview.

This is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about a role and company before you interview so set aside some time before you meet with them to go through the Job Spec and look up information about the company.

If there are any specific questions that come to mind make sure to write them down and bring them with you when you meet with your consultant. Take down any extra information you are provided with during the meeting as this will all help you feel more prepared on the day.

Know your CV

It might sound simple but make sure you know your own CV. One of the most common opening questions in an interview is to talk through your CV, so it is important to be able to do just that.

Don’t include anything on your CV that is untrue, it is better to be honest about your experience than caught out in a lie. Make sure you can also describe relevant experience in detail. Practicing talking through your CV with your consultant prior to interview and getting feedback from them will give you a better insight to what the interviewers will be looking for.

Read over any preparation material provided

If I have a candidate going for interview with a company I will always send the candidate documents that might help them prepare for interview. This usually includes detailed information about the company or basic interview aids such as “How to make a good first impression” or “How to approach competency based interview questions”.

Anything I send out is provided to be a helpful aid and doesn’t require learning off any information, but it is important to read over. The preparation material might be simple, but it is effective, and when having a practice interview, they can greatly help you articulate more well-rounded answers.

Treat it like a practice interview

Use this opportunity with your consultant to pretend you are in the actual interview. Try to answer questions and talk about your experiences the way you would in the actual interview.

Use this time to ask for feedback from your consultant and take on board any suggestions they may have that might help you improve your answers. Remember they know what the company is looking for so it is important to take their comments and advice on board. Dressing smart for the interview preparation will also help you practice how to leave a good impression (e.g. smile, strong handshake) so you are confident in the little things for the real interview.

Remember that meeting with a recruitment consultant can help with both your preparation and your confidence before an interview so take advantage of the opportunity.

If you still have any questions after you’ve met with them make sure to reach out and voice any concerns, it is better to ask questions now rather than being stuck in the interview!

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