Recruitment Consultant, Nikki Shellard works with hiring managers and candidates on a daily basis, so has a pretty good insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to interviews. Here’s her top tips on interview success…

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Have you ever left an interview confident that you performed well enough to secure the position; positive that your qualifications meant you were more than capable of carrying out all aspects of the job specification, only to find out it wasn’t meant to be, that they went with another candidate?

You can’t help but wonder why…

“I have everything they asked for in the job specification”,

“I am definitely more than qualified for this job”,

“I have specific industry experience that the other candidates do not have”.

This is something I have seen time and time again. Many candidates fail to grasp the fact that an interview is in essence a sales pitch. You, the candidate, are both the product and the sales person. You must be able to sell yourself and articulate your value as an employee.

It is also essential to understand the needs and requirements of the employer. Put simply, they will not buy (employ) you if they do not need to. Therefore, research and preparation is absolutely paramount; you need to be able to demonstrate how your skills and qualifications match the needs of the employer.

My advice…

Explore the company website; what are their goals and aspirations?

Analyse the job specification; how will this position help the employer work towards those goals and aspirations?

Think about how your skills and expertise will contribute to helping the employer achieve those goals and aspirations.

Anything that gives you a little extra insight into the company will provide you with a better opportunity to sell yourself.

With this information, equip yourself with a ‘sales pitch’ that allows you to demonstrate how your skills match the needs of the employer.

Already, you’re now one step ahead. But it doesn’t end there; finance is an incredibly competitive market.

Here are some of my thoughts around the key elements of a successful interview…


Yes, I know this blog is all about how qualifications aren’t everything, but I do not want to downplay their importance. The fact that you have secured an interview suggests that you have convinced the pre-screener that you possess the skills required for the job. But don’t expect that to be enough. In most cases, the interviewers opening questions will focus on your work experience, professional qualifications and technical skills.

The more you can demonstrate your abilities, the better. This is where specific details (especially the measurable results you’ve achieved) are critically important. Be able to recite your CV and provide quantifiable examples of your experience where possible.

Passion, determination & enthusiasm

In order to fill your interviewer with confidence that you will be productive and engaged on the job, you need to assure them that you love what you do. Think about why you enjoy your job. What do you like most about your job? Why do you want to work for the company?

Culture fit

Culture fit is a very important aspect of any interview. It doesn’t matter how qualified or passionate you are, if the interviewer is not convinced you will fit in with the rest of the team, you will not get offered the job.

Whilst the hiring manager wants to know that you can do the job, they also need to be able to picture you working dynamically within the team and getting involved on a social basis.

Before you can sell yourself as being a good fit for the team, you need to identify what the culture is like, so take the opportunity during the interview to ask questions that will give you an insight into the team dynamics and leadership.

This is also a great opportunity for you to get a feel for the business and understand if it will be the right fit for you.

To summarise, in order to give any interview your best shot, you need to be sensitive to the types of questions you are being asked and target your responses accordingly. Think about what the employer wants and how you can help them achieve it.


If you are interested in discussing the market or would like support with your job search/interview techniques, you can contact us on or 0161 667 2277.

Alternatively, you can browse and apply for all of our available jobs online.

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