How to handle redundancy: Top tips for interviewing in 2023

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If you’ve suddenly found yourself at risk of redundancy, or you’ve already been made redundant, the thought of having an interview may fill you with dread.

It might have been years since you last had an interview and a few things have changed since then. First things first, it’s completely natural to feel nervous! A little anxiety is to be expected but we’re here to help.

Here are our top tips to landing that all important job in 2023.

Learn about the company

This is something that may be different from when you last had an interview. Companies want to know that you’ve taken the time to really understand what it is they do. After all, how can you sell yourself as a great fit for their business if you don’t?

Our suggestion is to start with their website. Majority of companies will have an ‘About Us’ section on their website that often has a paragraph about their journey.

Find out where they operate, what their goals are and most importantly, their values. Interviewers will be wanting to find out more about your experience, but they’ll also be assessing how your values align with theirs.

Browsing through any blog posts and their social media is another great tactic. You get a real feel for what a company is like in doing this and will be able to have a good look at what they’ve been up to most recently.

Practice questions

The internet is rammed with example interview questions and making yourself familiar with standard competency-based questions is always handy.

Competency-based interview questions are also known as behavioural questions. In a competency interview, the interviewer will have derived skills required for the role you’ve applied for and assess how your past experience and skills align with these.

For example, Describe a time when you led a team, Tell me about a time you dealt with a conflict, Provide an example of a time you worked to a deadline.

When you answer these questions, we’d recommend following the STAR method.

Situation: Describe the situation to the interviewer – really set the scene!
Task: Describe the specific task you were required to complete.
Action: Tell you interviewer what actions you took to complete the task – be specific!
Result: Describe the end result of the task. If it wasn’t successful, be sure to explain what you learnt from it and sell yourself in a good light.

Not all interviewers opt for the competency method, some will want to get to know more about you in a first interview.

In this case, they may ask more about you as a person – including hobbies and interests. They will always be interested to hear about any relevant experience you have, so it’s worth going to your interview with specific examples of tasks you’ve completed or projects you’ve worked on.

They will want to know why you’re interested in the role, your strengths and weaknesses, the reason you’re leaving your current role and most importantly, they’ll want you to ask questions! We don’t just mean questions around pay or working hours, but questions about the company or the interviewer themselves. Here are a few examples.

  • What’s your favourite thing about working for this company?
  • What challenges do you expect this company to face over the next few years?
  • What is the company culture like at this company?
  • What would success look like in the role I’m applying for?

Again, there are ample examples of questions to ask an interviewer all over the internet.

Study the job description

When a company advertises a job, they will include a job description. This often describes the roles and responsibilities of the successful candidate as well as specific requirements they’re looking for in applicants.

Reading through this is the bare minimum you should do before your interview. What we would recommend doing is pulling this job description up, alongside your CV, and matching the two up.
Look for skills and qualifications on the description that directly link up with your CV. This will help you massively in your interview as it will allow you to proactively show the reasons why you applied for the role and why you would be successful in it, should you get the job.

If you’re at risk of redundancy or have already had the news, it may be the case that you’re interviewing for lots of different roles. Re-reading the job description of each role will ensure you don’t get mixed up!

Arrive early

Always arrive early! Being late will add unnecessary stress and pressure on top of your interview nerves. It will also leave your interviewer with the impression that you aren’t great at time keeping and are unorganised.

Don’t worry if you get there super early, you can grab a coffee or stay in your car and practice your interview questions again.

Avoid the robotic approach

The beauty of interviewing face-to-face or over a video call is that you can really show your personality. Interviewers don’t want you to come across as robotic or as someone just churning practiced answers out.

If they ask you a question that leaves room to display who you are as an individual, be sure to do that. For example, if you’re passionate about your studies and the course you did at uni, don’t just tell them what you did, tell them why you loved it.

Don’t badmouth your previous employer

Being made redundant might have left a sour taste in your mouth and we understand this completely. Frustrations can be high during this time and some anger is normal, however badmouthing your previous employer may be a red flag to your interviewer.

Stay positive

It’s easy to get yourself into a negative mindset following the news of redundancies, and while easier said than done, it’s important to try and stay positive.
We are still in a candidate-led market, meaning there are more roles than candidates available at the moment – and we assure you that you’ll secure a new role in no time!

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