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Emily Oakes, consultant at Hays Credit Control puts forward her top interview tips.

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Here are some key tips on knowing what to say in an interview:

Use the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

An effective communication technique designed to enable you to provide a meaningful and complete answer to questions. This is most relevant to competency based questions. Many interviewers will have been trained in using the STAR structure. The information will be given to them in a structured manner relating to STAR and, as a result, they will become more receptive to the messages you are trying to communicate.

Do your research

"What do you know about our company/business?" This is a very common question to be asked in interviews and if you haven't any prior research it's going to be a difficult question to answer. Typically interviewees will answer with a list of historical facts such as when the company was founded and how many employees they now have. To stand out from the other candidates, research should be centred on press releases and current PR. If you know something the other candidates don’t it will show initiative and an element of thinking outside of the box.

Ask relevant questions

The types of questions you ask, either throughout the interview or at the end, should be kept relevant to the job, the duties involved and the business. For example questions relating to debtor days, volumes and values of ledgers and payment terms are advisable. Keep questions open ended and remember that some of them will have been answered throughout the course of the interview. It is also advisable to steer clear of questions that are answered clearly on their website. Asking what benefits the company offer particularly in a first stage interview should be avoided. This goes for questions about parking, working hours and dress codes.

Be yourself

There is nothing worse than trying to act and put on a different personality when you are in a stressful situation in the first place. Smile, keep eye contact remembering to address all interviewers if there is more than one present. Don’t answer questions too quickly, think about your response carefully.

For more information on successful interviewing please contact your local credit management team here.

About Emily Oakes
Emily has worked for Hays as an expert finance recruiter within the Home Counties since 2000 and set up the Credit Management division across Bucks and Herts in 2007/8. She has been recruiting exclusively into jobs within the credt cycle ever since and is now an expert in credit recruitment across Hertfordshire and North London, specialising in recruiting for all levels from Credit/Billing Administrators through to Credit Managers/Directors. During her time at Hays, Emily has developed and maintained a number of strong relationships with both blue chip and SME clients who now see her as the leading local expert for credit recruitment.