CV and interview Guide

May 13, 2018

How should I organise my CV and what content should I include?

Structuring your CV

The objective of your CV is to help you stand out from the crowd and gain you an interview either with a potential employer or a recruitment consultant. It should create a positive impression about you in the mind of the interviewer before you meet.

Some advertisements have significant response levels so the initial review of your CV will probably not last any longer than three minutes at most. Therefore it needs to be professional, business-like and easy to read; focusing on your key achievements. The covering letter needs to be clearly tailored to the description of the position and the candidate specification.

It is a good idea to split your CV into four sections: personal information, qualifications, employment history and interests.

Personal information


If educated to degree level (or have a higher qualification) it is only necessary to briefly list earlier academic qualifications with appropriate grades. Any degree should have the name of the establishment from which it was gained and the level/grade obtained.

This section should also include any professional qualifications. Additionally, employers often look for any work related training – especially if it has led to a particular qualification.

How should I organise my CV and what content should I include?

Employment history

CV presentation tips



How do I prepare for an interview?

Now for the interview

Congratulations – you have an interview for a potential role. The interview is your chance to impress and first impressions count. But a successful interview is more than meeting the requirements of the job description and a lack of preparation can let down even the best candidate for the job. Understanding the interview process will allow you to plan for each eventuality, to relax and to be yourself. Here are some pointers that can help you prepare and secure that all important position.

Know the company. Depending on the role, it may be appropriate to concentrate on their products/services, competitors and recent and future business growth. Review their website for relevant investor information and press releases on acquisitions/disposals, appointments, awards and events. Also look at their blogs and social media sites if applicable. Trade publications may also be helpful. Speaking to anyone you know who works at the organisation will also give you an edge.

Check if they have a careers section or video content which may give you information about their values and culture. It will certainly tell you how they want to be seen by prospective employees.

Do you know where you are going? Check the address and save it in your phone. If you don’t know the area and can’t find it  on Google maps, call your consultant for directions. Give yourself lots of time and aim to arrive 10 minutes early, particularly if you relying on public transport.

Do you know who you will be meeting? Check the profile of the interviewer via the organisation’s website and Google.

Call your recruitment consultant at least the day before, and get a briefing on the job including who you are seeing, and go through any job description. They should also be able to help you with the type of interview, the personality of the interviewer or with any other information that you may need.

Make sure you know what is in your CV. It is important to be able to discuss any aspect of your CV such as why you studied a particular course at university, or the part that you played in a particular project/deal (also make sure that you can discuss any overall business aims). Make sure you remember any relevant dates or qualifications.

Ultimately the interview is a two way street. As well as ensuring that you ’sell’ yourself to best effect, you should also be considering questions for the  interviewer  on  aspects of the role, such as prospects for career development and the corporate culture.

Think about the questions that you are likely to be asked, since some of these can be quite predictable.

How should I conduct myself at interview?

First impressions are vital so make sure that you are dressed smartly in a business suit (even if casual/ ’dress down’ is allowed).

Remember that it is not just your experience and skill set that is being examined at an interview but also whether you will fit into the organisation’s culture.

As well as trying to be yourself it is important to remember these do’s and don’ts:

Video and telephone interviewing

As well as many of the points made on the previous page about how to conduct yourself at interview, there are a number of general guidelines which may be of use to you if you are having a video conference or telephone interview.

What questions could I be asked?

These are all deliberately ‘open’ questions, in other words you cannot answer them with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

If you are interviewing for an international vacancy, you may also be asked:

What questions could I ask?

These are examples of some great questions to ask at an interview:

How should I close the interview?

It is important to leave the interviewer with a positive impression – thank them for the opportunity to meet with them and for their time. If you are still interested in the position make sure that they know. If they ask if you are interested, don’t say “I’ll think about and get back to you”. Be positive and say yes.

Immediately afterwards, note down your thoughts on the interview and any questions that you might have while they are still fresh in your mind.

Call your recruitment consultant as soon as you can with honest feedback. The sooner you do this, the sooner they can speak to the organisation to find out what they are thinking.

At all times stay in touch with your recruitment consultant who should relay positive or negative feedback. They will prepare you for the next meeting and give you help and advice at all stages. Remember that recruitment consultants will be highly experienced in the complete recruitment life cycle from interview through to offer, acceptance/rejection and resignation. Use all their knowledge and experience to help you make the most of the recruitment process.