Golden rules when interviewing

October 18, 2011
3 min read

In my job as head of recruitment at Mintel, I see a lot of applicants walk through our doors every week and whilst many seem to possess well developed interview etiquettes, I think that there are many opportunities for candidates to increase the impact they have in an interview situation though some key golden rules.

These are my personal views, but ones that I believe can help you clinch that offer wherever you might be interviewing. The easier you make it for a company to say yes, the more likely you will be successful.

  1. Do your research when you make an application – many companies will conduct telephone screening calls on applicants, this is your chance to really stand out from the crowd.
  2. Good timekeeping – being late is guaranteed to annoy and alarm a hiring manager. Leave time in your journey for delays and if you get stuck try and get a message to your contact.
  3. First impressions really do count: make sure that your appearance (hair, clothes, shoes, make-up) is appropriate. Good advice is to dress for the role you aspire to. Be mindful of your appearance when waiting in reception, you create a better impression standing and of course don’t fudge the all-important handshake.
  4. Understand the job description – candidates that really stand out are the ones who really understand the role, company and market: and pitch themselves accordingly.
  5. Take notes – again, candidates who clearly listen and take notes will stand out and are better prepared for follow-up interviews.
  6. Prepare questions – an easy way to demonstrate your interest and commitment and an easy way to outshine other candidates.
  7. Close an interview professionally – make sure you ask about the interview process and next steps.
  8. Follow up – again you can really stand out from others by following up an interview with an appropriate email to all the staff you have met. Thank them for their time, your brief synopsis of the meeting and reinforcing your candidature for the role.
  9. Consistency – Most companies will have several interviews before a final decision is made. You need to demonstrate consistency in behaviour throughout and also demonstrate your increased understanding of the role and opportunity. Your diligent note taking will really help you with this.
  10. Congratulations you get the offer you worked hard for – now you need to follow through and deliver in your new role; as all eyes will be on you assessing you for the next opportunity for promotion.

To view opportunities at Mintel, please visit our careers page at

Simon Hollowood has headed up recruitment at Mintel for almost ten years, working both across Europe and the USA. Passionate about the Mintel brand and people, his focus is on finding talented people to help grow the Mintel brand.

Related articles
March 25, 2024
Changing consumer preferences are driving a profound transformation in ingredient innovation in the food and drink industry. The upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasised the importance of…
February 29, 2024
At Mintel, we know that in an increasingly dynamic business landscape, leveraging insightful market research is more essential than ever. Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence (AI) and large language…
December 20, 2023
At Mintel, our commitment to making a positive difference in our communities is at the heart of what we do. As we continually reinforce this dedication, we take immense pride…

Download the Latest Market Intelligence