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42% of UK Interviewees spending ‘at least one day’ preparing for grilling

Majority of UK job hunters dedicate at least 24 hours for interview preparation

A majority of UK workers are willing to take a day off work or work through the weekend to prepare for a job interview, research by global employment experts Randstad has found.

As Lord Sugar put Apprentice contestants Alana Spencer and Courtney Wood through a gruelling interview process on Thursday’s show, Randstad found 42% of job searchers would spend at least 24 hours thinking about what questions they might be asked at an interview.

It means that four in ten job candidates who were already employed would either use their weekend or take time off to get ready for a grilling.

At the other end of the scale, 13% of applicants thought less than 30 minutes’ work would equip them for a job interview.

More than a quarter of job hunters (28%) visiting Randstad.co.uk said they would spend between one and two hours getting ready for questions and revising the role and company while approximately one fifth (17%) said they would dedicate between two and four hours preparing.

Commenting on the figures, Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Business Solutions, said it was no wonder applicants spend more than a day preparing. 

“With more than 40% of our candidates spending over a day or more preparing they will be in good stead to perform well at interview,” she said.  

“Once you consider background reading, potential interview questions, presentations and/or aptitude tests along with picking the right dress choice and transport options, then decent preparation can easily take a day or even more.”

“With the pressures of work and family commitments finding time to prepare for an interview can be a challenge. Treat an interview like a final exam and choose the method that’s right for you. 

“The day before, or spread your preparation over time.  After all preparation builds confidence, and confidence creates a persuasive candidate who can impress the interviewer.”

Top tips for your interview prep:

Find out about the organisation

  • Visit the website, read prospectuses, brochures, their social media and search the company name in google news.
  • Follow the company on LinkedIn and read employee reviews on glassdoor.
  • Visit the premises or do a test commute if you can.

Find out about the job

  • Ask for a job description or specification. This will give you the duties and responsibilities that go with the job you’re being interviewed for.
  • Talk to anyone you know who is familiar with the kind of work you may be doing or working at a similar organisation.
  • Have a look on LinkedIn at your  interviewers and those with similar job titles at organisations (you can set your profile to anonymous!)

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One comment

  1. An interesting article. As an employer who interviews a lot I can always tell the difference between those that spend minutes preparing and those that spend several hours.

    Our candidates often have a presentation to prepare and sometimes only have a couple of days before attending.

    I do understand the challenges of finding the time to prepare, with work and family commitments for the majority of interviewees, however it does highlight the more committed candidate.

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