Careers spotlight: Three ways to your next role

17 Apr 23

Three simple things can help you have a successful job interview.

Image © iStock

Turning a job interview into a strategic task is key to improving your career prospects.

Understanding the role and how you could fit into the organisation as well as assessing its future prospects will enable you to use the meeting to show you are the best person for the role.

By focusing on a set of tasks, you can also take the stress out of the interview and enable you to deliver a focused presentation.

David O’Connell, centre manager of Pitman Training Newcastle, says there are three things that will make a difference. 

Really prepare

He says: “A good interview starts way before you step foot into your potential employer’s office. In fact, it is the preparation you do days, or even weeks, before the interview that will determine whether you are successful or not.

“The first step to perfect interview preparation is to dissect the job specification. This gives you a chance to prepare great job-specific answers to the common interview questions that are almost certain to come up, such as, “What are your strengths?” or “Why are you interested in working for us?”.

“Do your research on the company you are interviewing with. Make sure you check their website and social media profiles beforehand to gauge the company’s values. Similarly, google them to see if they have been in the news. Take notes on positive aspects of the business that you can highlight in your interview – this is guaranteed to impress recruiters.

Finally, prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. Asking the interviewer things like ‘what’s the best part of working here?’ or ‘what are your ambitions as a company?’ shows that you are passionate to learn about the role and will leave a good impression on the person interviewing you.”

Don’t busk it

Practice makes perfect so go over the things you’re going to say so you don’t stumble. 

O’Connell says: “Rehearsing things you are going to say in the interview beforehand will help you stay calm on the big day and prepare you for any awkward questions.

“One of the key things to get right is your elevator pitch. This is a thorough yet concise breakdown of who you are, what you have accomplished, and what makes you a tremendously qualified candidate for a specific position – but you have only got the time it takes to get up to your floor in an elevator to say it!

“In your elevator pitch, explain why you want to work for the company, what interests you about the position and, most importantly, what makes you so great. After you have rehearsed what you want to say in your pitch, consider recording yourself. Then, watch it back to see how you come across. Was your message clear and, if not, what could you improve? Taking some time to practice this will boost your confidence and help you ace your interview on the day.”

Recalls to action matter

Well-told stories of your achievements leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. The best way to structure these stories are to follow the acronym PAR:

Problem: Describe the situation you were in

Action: What did you do to make it better - this should be the bulk of your story

Result: What happened as a result. Or, in other words, why should the interviewer care about this story?

O’Connell adds: “Make sure these stories are about a situation that you made positive. This shows your potential employers that you are a problem solver and can adapt to any situation.

To find out more, visit:

Did you enjoy this article?