You’ve applied for one of our current vacancies and submitted your job application using our top CV writing tips for job hunters, and now you’ve secured that all important interview. Congratulations! You’re one step closer to progressing your career with us.
I’ve been a recruiter for almost 10 years, with more than three years at the PPF. I’ve experienced interviews first-hand from all sides. I’ve advised candidates, conducted interviews and been on the other side of the table as a candidate myself.
The one thing candidates often don’t realise is that interview panellists can be just as nervous as you. If you get anxious or nervous about interviews, remember someone on the panel probably feels the same.
To help you on this journey, I’d like to share some general advice on our interview process and some handy preparation tips to help you perform at your best on the day.
What to expect from our interview process
A member of our recruitment team will be in touch if you’re successful in getting to the interview stage. Depending on the role, there may be multiple interview stages.
We’ll also let you know this and will also inform you in good time if there’s a written exercise or technical assessment involved.
We’re currently operating a hybrid interview process. You’ll either come to our head office in Croydon, or to our London Canon Street office if the interview is for an investment role. Alternatively, you’ll interview remotely via a virtual video conferencing platform.
We usually allocate 60 minutes for interviews and there’s always at least two panellists.
Whether your interview is at home or in our office, my advice is to treat them the same. Act professional, maintain good posture and strong eye contact. If you’re at home then make sure you’re comfortable and your internet signal is reliable.
My five top tips
1. Research, research, research
Do your research so you know who we are and what we do.
- We’ve got some brilliant explainer videos on our YouTube channel which can help you to prepare.
- Take a look at our social media channels – we’re on Instagram, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Twitter and Facebook.
- There’s also a wealth of information available on our website.
Use all of this information as an opportunity to get to know us better and see what it’s like to work here.
2. Reasonable adjustments
We’re proud of our Disability Confident Leader status and candidates who need support are assisted throughout our recruitment process.
We ensure inclusivity for disabled candidates or those with long-term health conditions and will make reasonable adjustments. Just let me or one of my colleagues in the recruitment team know what you need and we’ll be happy to help.
In the past, we’ve allowed more time for candidates with learning difficulties and provided information on coloured paper to ensure candidates can perform at their best.
3. Competency questions
Our interviews are based on competency questions – question about your knowledge, skills and abilities as well as the characteristics which drive good performance in a role.
Competency questions require you to provide a real-life example, based on the essential requirements of the role, which you can discuss in the interview.
This is your chance to sell yourself and tell us about where you’ve added value to a project or team, or even at an organisational level.
Top tip! Use the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, Result – to give examples in a structured manner.
4. Come prepared to ask questions
An interview is a two-way process. We always allow time at the end for questions, so we encourage you to come prepared with your own questions to ask the panellists. It’s a great way to demonstrate how interested you are in the role and in us as an organisation.
If you didn’t cover everything in your interview or need to clarify something, please contact us and we’ll make sure your message reaches the panellists.
Once all candidates have been interviewed and the panel have finalised their decisions, we’ll arrange a time to provide you with some feedback.
It’s just as important for us to hear any feedback from your interview experience too, so use this opportunity to do so.
You can also leave general feedback or observations you wish to share with us about our recruitment process as a review on Glassdoor. This helps us, but can also help prospective candidates.
And lastly, good luck!
Shaun Hilley is one of our recruitment partners.