Interview Tips – Case Study

I Thought I would take some time to write an example of how I would do things if I was looking for a job and being put forward for an interview with one of the major high street retailers in the UK. I’m not saying this is the must have definitive guide of how to do it. It’s just a pointer.

OK my recruitment consultant has called me and asked if I would be interested in working for Next. Next is a major retailer and as I’m already aware of the company and what they do I agreed I would like to go for an interview.

While this is being arrange a job spec, map and a few details about who I will be meeting with are emailed to me.

The first thing I would do is read through the official job spec. I’m looking to work in the finance department so I make sure the job spec is as described by the recruitment agent on the phone then log onto the Next website.

Most companies these days have a website of some description. A company like Next will have a great site with lots of information about the company. This is the sort of info I’m looking for.

Generally right at the bottom of the site will be some small links. There your find the privacy policy, terms & conditions and ABOUT US. This is what I would look at first. On the Next website its actually a link called THE COMPANY.

Straight away I can see that Next also does homeware. Interesting point and that’s just what I’M looking for. Interesting points that I can use to my advantage. You could be asked

Next: where do you see yourself in five years time?

Simply say something like,

Candidate: I can see Next has expanded into homeware. As the company grows and develops I would like to grow and develop with the company. Next is a major UK retailer growing all the time and I would like to be part of that.

There is also company news and financial results. Both very important in terms of information to take to the interview.

Under the news section I have found that –

Simon Wolfson is the Chief Executive

David Keens is the Group Finance Director.

That’s an important one. I’m going for a job interview in finance. Its not unreasonable for the employer to ask if I know who the Group Finance Director is. At least armed with this name I can reply.

Under the latest financial results its worth noting the companies performance during the current downturn and how they are planning to deal with this.

One of the questions your surely going to be asked at the first interview is, why do you as a person want to work for Next?

Before your even asked this question its easy to prepare the answer. Your preparation at this stage will really make the difference between you getting the job and not getting it.

The link CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, has a whole host of information to help you to answer the question above.

Let me show you.

Next : so why do you want to work for Next?

Candidate: While reading through you financial information on the Next website I found the section on Corporate Responsibility. I think its important for a company that I work for to have a commitment to ethical trading, community and the environment. Next ticks all these boxes for me.

Don’t just look at the companies website the night before the interview. In most cases there is a gap of at least a day before the interview is arranged. Use this time wisely. Write up some notes on some credit card sized pieces of card. Memorise the notes on them, important company names, recent news stories of interest, what the company does and what its products are.

Good luck

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