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Handling Interviews

Interviews can be nerve-wracking at times, but if you are well-prepared and confident the process can be much easier.

The following tips may be helpful when preparing for an interview:


It is always a good idea to prepare as much as you can before an interview. If you are well prepared you will be calmer and more confident.

  • Make sure you know who you are meeting, when and where the interview is and how to get there. Your Duttons consultant will be able to provide you with all the information you may need, including maps, directions and public transport details.
  • Ensure you take contact details, a spare CV, pen and notepad.
  • Revise – read up on the company and the industry. The company website, as well as those if its competitors, are a good source of information, as are industry magazines such as Construction News and Building Magazine.
  • Dress smartly – first impressions are important.

Make a good impression

  • A firm handshake, making eye contact and making the effort to remember names and smiling when addressing people will all help to make a good impression.
  • Stay calm, relax and listen to the questions. Think before you answer and try not to rush your answers.
  • Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and try and show how your abilities match the job specification.

Ask questions

Asking questions of the interviewer shows enthusiasm, and the ability to ask informed and pertinent questions shows that you have done your research. The sort of questions you could ask include:

  • What are the other people in the department like?
  • What training or induction is given?
  • What would be my core responsibilities?
  • Where are the opportunities to progress within the company?


  • If the interviewer does not inform you of how the process will continue, don’t be afraid to ask. But don’t push, as some recruiters do not like to commit to a timescale at interview stage.
  • Shake hands and thank the interviewer for their time, as well as saying goodbye to each person you talked with.
  • After the interview, don’t forget to contact your recruitment consultant to give feedback on the interview.


Bear in mind that if you have got this far, you are being seriously considered.

In spite of this fact, being invited back for a second interview can sometimes seem a daunting prospect. But repeating the success of the first interview can be made easier through thorough preparation.

First interviews are normally conducted by Human Resources, and their purpose is to check out your academic background, skills and experience.

Find out in advance what the format for the second interview will be. Your Duttons consultant will be able to give you this information and let you know whether the interview will be with one person (your prospective boss), a panel of people or a series of one to one interviews, for example.

The purpose of the second interview is to assess:

  • Are you competent to do the job? This will involve more focussed and in-depth questions about your work experience and qualifications.
  • Are you likely to fit in with the team? Whether you are likely to work well with existing staff members is the most important aspect here and is more likely to get you the job than you academic qualifications. Be relaxed, friendly, honest and be yourself.