Top tips: Preparing for your interview

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We know that preparing for an interview can be stressful. From researching the company to working out how you’ll get there on the day, an interview usually involves a lot of planning and preparation, but the hard work all pays off when you get the job!

If you’ve recently been invited to an interview for a supply role with New Directions Education, here are our top tips on how to prepare and what to expect, to set you up for success.

Before your interview

1. Do your research

Interview research

As with any job interview or meeting with a potential employer, it is a great idea to spend a little time researching and finding out about the company and understand the job role you are applying for. Remember, the meeting is a two-way process. So not only is it a chance for the interviewer to find out more about you, but it is also an opportunity for you to ask questions to gain a better understanding of the role and the company culture. Doing your research will mean that you arrive prepared and can make the most of the opportunity to ask questions that you may have.

2. Know the job role

It is important to have a sound knowledge of the job role you’re applying for and to be able to demonstrate it. If you’ve reached the interview stage, you’ve already put a lot of thought and effort into the application process and now is the ideal time to go back over your job application and look back at the role requirements, person specification and job description.

During your interview, you should be able to:

  • Talk about why you want the role
  • Demonstrate that you have the skills, experience and qualifications required
  • Show that you understand the work you would be responsible for
  • Prove that you have a good understanding of the wider industry/sector.

3. Practice mock interview questions

An effective way of preparing for your interview is to create a list of potential questions that you might be asked on the day. Look at the job advert, job description and person specification and try to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes – what questions would you ask a candidate to find out if they meet the criteria for this job role?

You can write down 5-10 practice interview questions and bullet-point your answers to help you feel fully prepared and confident. It is important to give real-life examples and experiences to evidence your answers and show that you meet the criteria, so be sure to make a note of any key examples

4. Plan ahead

Interview questions

Plan how you’ll get to your interview and what you’ll need to take on the day. Be sure to know exactly where you need to go and plan your journey by looking into your transport options and how long will it take to get there. You should work out what time you need to leave in order to get there on time, then add a healthy buffer in case of delays – it is better to be early rather than late and keep any stress levels to a minimum.

Pack your bag the night before to make sure you have everything you need for your interview, helping make the process smooth and stress-free from start to finish. You should take:

  • Your photo ID
  • Documentation of qualifications and certificates
  • Portfolio of work (if relevant)
  • Your CV
  • The job description and person specification
  • A pen and paper to make notes if required
  • All the original documentation requested in your interview invitation letter
  • A bottle of water.

5. Look presentable

Choosing what to wear to an interview can be a tricky decision, especially with many employers now allowing more casual wear to work. However, when it comes to interviews, first impressions count. Therefore, it is best to opt for something smart, that is suitable to wear in an office or business environment.

Make sure you choose something that you feel comfortable and confident wearing and keep jewellery and accessories to a minimum. Your outfit should be simple, smart and polished – so don’t forget to iron your shirt!

On your interview day

Now you’re fully prepared, here are a few helpful hints on what to expect from your New Directions Education interview:

When you arrive, you will first meet with a member of staff from the Sales Support team who will be there to guide you through the initial registration process. They will go through the required documents with you (be sure to bring the originals!) and take photocopies, before giving you of the necessary forms to fill out.

Your Sales Support contact will be on hand to ensure that all relevant paperwork is completed and your files are compliant so that you are ready to take a work placement as quickly as possible following a successful interview.

Interview tips

Following your meeting with the Sales Support team, you will be introduced to your dedicated Account Manager. Throughout your time working as supply staff with New Directions Education, you will consistently work with the same Account Manager. They will be your key point of contact, finding the perfect vacancies for you, so you will get to know them very well. During your interview, they will go through the Terms of Engagement with you and ask you some interview questions.

The interview questions are nothing to worry about – especially now that you have prepared so well! Your Account Manager needs to really get to know you, to find out more about your previous work experience and understand what sort of work you are looking for, so try to answer these questions as clearly as possible. This will really help your Account Manager to find the best vacancies for you – ones that match your skills and experience, as well as your schedule and preferences. There are roughly 16 questions to answer, covering your previous work experience, your CV and what you are looking for in terms of supply work. This is also your opportunity to discuss any other additional questions you may have and to discuss your salary expectations.

What happens next?

You can expect your New Directions Education interview to take around one hour. Following this, compliance checks must be completed to get your file up and running so you are ready to start work. Your Sales Support contact and designated Account Manager will keep in touch to update you on the progress of your file and we aim to get you into work as fast as we can.

We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming interview and look forward to meeting you very soon. Don’t forget to contact us if you have any questions about your interview – we will be happy to help.