Preparing for longlist interviews


Navigating the demanding first interview

In order to be added to the much sought after shortlist whilst job hunting, you’ll more than likely have to go through the longlist, or preliminary interview stage first. This is your chance to shine, exhibit your skills, your qualifications and winning personality to our consultants or an external assessor. The information gathered in this interview will then be reported back to the client with a report and recommendation as to whether, or not, you’re suitable for the shortlist.

Obvious as it may seem, preparation is vital to ensure you succeed at longlist interview stage.


Many candidates are still ill-informed and unprepared for the longlist interview. Do your research thoroughly.

Check the format of the interview

This should be explained in advance, however to overcome any last minute surprises, always ask.

What questions might you be asked?

Try to pre-empt the types of questions you’ll be asked and rehearse the answers.

Dress appropriately

Our rule of thumb is always dress smartly, even if it is a preliminary interview.

Do a background check

If there’s an external assessor involved, do some research to find out who they are and what their background is.


Work out how you’re going to get to the interview in advance and anticipate any problems with traffic.

Listen to and answer the question

Many people fail to do this and talk about something they haven’t been asked. Also, try to keep your answers as brief as possible.

Evidence your success

Offer examples of what you have achieved in a simple and understandable manner without complicated details.

Why have you applied?

Our consultants need to understand your motives for applying for a position. Simply saying you want more money isn’t a great answer.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Finding a job is a two way process and as such you need to have as much information as possible to decide if you want to be shortlisted.

Body language

This is as important as the questions you answer. Good posture, eye contact and engaging with the interviewer is essential.

Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback is important for your development and confidence in future interview situations.

Hints, advice & tips