Tips for a successful interview


Whether you are actively seeking or tentatively considering new opportunities – you have successfully secured an interview with a top prospect employer who holds the key to an exciting and prosperous career. Of all the CV’s, advert responses, headhunting, shortlisting and applications viewed, they have chosen to see you!

Having gone through the Ford & Stanley candidate discovery process, your potential new employer will be aware of your motivations, aspirations, salary expectations, location and current situation. The employer will have also received our notes on why Ford & Stanley feel you are suitable for the role, in terms of soft (personality) and hard skills (experience).

Preparation is the single most important step in the recruitment process – planning is key.

As part of our candidate management process, your consultant will arrange to complete interview preparation, where they will run through the plan for the day with you and provide you with all the hints, tips and tools you will need. This will give you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and bounce ideas around – ultimately providing you with a sounding board and the chance to utilise the experience of an interviewing specialist.

How will Ford & Stanley prepare you for your interview?

Where & When

  • Can you confirm back to us the time, date, location and who you are meeting?

  • Have you planned your journey? (Rule of thumb is 10 mins early – no ealier no later)

Recap of employers requirement

  • Re-visit the business need
  • Re-visit the opportunity
  • Heads up on the personalities you are meeting and what they are on the lookout for (if known)

Research & Planning

  • Can you tell us what research you have completed / plan to complete prior to interview?
  • Have you checked out / connected on LinkedIn with those you are meeting?
  • Have you received and read through the role profile / job specification? (If applicable)
  • What do you know about the company? Have you visited the employers news page, website or viewed industry magazines to keep you up to date on the latest industry news?


  • Have you planned on dressing to impress? Formal business attire is always recommended whether the meeting is formal or informal (unless otherwise stated)
  • Regardless of how comfortable the setting or informal the interview, always use professonal language
  • Have you thought about how you will present the reason for leaving your current role?
  • Please see the body language guide above for further advice on personal presentation
  • Have you prepared 3 intelligent questions to present back to the business/hiring manager?
  • Do you have examples of work to take with you to showcase / evidence your capability (if relevant) 

Your situation and any changes/updates

  • Do you have any updates or changes to your situation since we last spoke? (Interviews? Offers? Personal circumstance?)
  • Any changes to your financial position – we have presented you to the client at “x”

Final steps

  • Call your consultant after the interview to debrief as the client always contacts us to ask for your feedback – lets expediate the process
  • Have you saved your recruiter mobile number in case of emergency on the day?
  • Are you aware of the biggest taboo in recruitment? Been known to cost recruitment businesses clients and burn bridges between candidates and employers forever – not showing up to interview. Any issues let us know well in advance. No judgement made.
  • Your consultant will explain what F&S Sounding Board Service is as this will be triggered should we get to offer stage (free of charge to candidates)
  • Any questions you may have for us?

“STAR” interview technique questions

STAR is a universally recognised communication technique designed to enable you to provide a meaningful and complete answer to questions asking for examples. At the same time, it has the advantage of being simple enough to be applied easily.
Many interviewers will have been trained in using the STAR structure. Even if they have not, they will recognise its value when they see it. The information will be given to them in a structured manner and, as a result, they will become more receptive to the messages you are trying to communicate
Here are some examples:

Situation: “A customer rang up complaining that they’d waited more than two weeks for a reply from our sales team regarding a product query.”

Task: “I needed to address the client’s immediate query and find out what went wrong in the normal process.”
Activity: “I apologised, got the details and passed them to our head salesperson, who contacted the client within the hour. I investigated why the query hadn’t been answered. I discovered that it was a combination of a wrong mobile number and a generic email address that wasn’t being checked. I let the client know and we offered a goodwill discount on her next order.”
Result: “The client not only continued to order from us but posted a positive customer service tweet.”