Interview technique

A successful interview is the key to you securing your next dream career move, but interviews can often leave us feeling nervous and many people find it a stressful experience. Detailed below is a list of hints and tips, that if followed will help you through the interview process.


Many people fall at the first hurdle in the interview process when not putting in enough time and effort into preparation leading up to the interview. The better prepared you are for the interview the more confidence you will have in the interview and the more credible you will be as an applicant.


It is essential you undertake some background research on the organisation and these days most information is available on company websites. Ensure you know the history of the organisation, the nature of business and know the facts and figures. The more research you do the more likely you are to impress!


Allow plenty of time to arrive at your appointment, ensure you have planned your travel and have a map and directions to avoid any last minute panics! Make sure you have the full name of the interviewer and are aware of their exact position in the company.


Be smart and business-like in your appearance and ensure that you are well-groomed. Carry a handbag or briefcase, not a carrier bag, if you have a mobile phone with you, make sure you turn it off. 

Think about the things you would like to know about the position and prepare relevant questions to ask, for example:

  • How has the role become available?
  • Where does the role sit within the organisational structure?
  • What are the dynamics of the team?
  • What career opportunities are there within the company?
  • What do you (the interviewer) like about working for the company?

During the Interview:

Speak clearly, and not too fast. It’s best to use concise and direct sentences to answer questions, and if the interviewer wants more detail they will prompt you.

Never be negative about your previous/current jobs in payroll, including employers or colleagues. It suggests a bad attitude.

Avoid being over-confident as this often translates as arrogance; be confident in your abilities and your aptitude for the job, but demonstrate that you’re willing to take direction.

At the end of the interview show your interest in the role by asking any of your own questions when prompted. Finally ask the interviewer what the next stage of the process would be and the timescales as to when you may receive feedback.

We hope the above hints and tips leads to a successful interview, in the meantime please remember to call your consultant immediately after the interview with your feedback as this enables them to discuss your interview and interest in the role with your prospective employer and also potentially shows how keen you are on the position.

For any further advice ahead of your interview please contact the payroll recruitment specialists and preferred suppliers to the CIPP, Portfolio on 020 7247 9455 or email [email protected].


Looking for a job in payroll?

Take a look at the CIPP payroll jobs board to see available jobs and register with Portfolio Payroll.

Visit jobs board