Main menu

Leading Ladies: Interview Tips

You’ve honed your CV, written a stellar cover letter and managed to bag yourself an interview for that dream job; now all you need to do is convince the person the other side of the table to hire you. Whether you’re a naturally gifted speaker or not, an interview can turn even the most confident of candidates to jelly - especially if your assessor is particularly intimidating.   

Take tips from SL’s Leading Ladies - with their collective years of business acumen, these 13 women know a thing or two about how to outshine the competition. Read on for their key pieces of advice and nail that interview...

“Tell me something about my subject I don't already know. And be attentive and ask how my surname is pronounced.” Anna-Marie Solowij, Co-Founder of BeautyMART

“Show confidence and respect at the same time, have good manners and seem genuinely interested.” Calgary Avansino, Health Writer & British Vogue Contributing Editor Calgary Avansino 

“Demonstrate that they understand the business they are hoping to work for. And smile - a warm, genuine smile goes a long way.” Caroline Lucey, Director & Co-Founder of Active in Style 

“Always be prepared and put themselves in my shoes. For example, if I were to recruit for a social media manager I’d like that person to spend time analysing all of our platforms in order to present what their first 30 days would look like in the role. This would give me an insight into their thinking and show me they were keen and prepared. Going the extra mile is always impressive.” Claire Vero, Founder of Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

“Be really interested and unafraid to tell me their strengths and weakness, in an honest way, not boastful or know it all. Get excited about the job and what you would want to do.” Emma O'Byrne, Makeup Artist Emma O'Byrne 

“I am a big believer in soft skills. The candidate could walk into an interview with a fistful of degrees, but if they don’t have the ability to add energy to a team, be positive, proactive, fizz with ideas that they’re ready to share, as well as the ability to listen to others and have a great can-do attitude to life and work then I’m not interested." Fiona McIntosh, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Blow LTD. 

“Do more than I expect. We always look for people outside of the box that have something new and exciting to offer, there is nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd.  Enthusiasm and personability are two key attributes.” Hilary Gilbert, Founder of BOOM Cycle

“Research your company and come with tangible ideas about how they would make a difference.” Jenny Halpern Prince, Founder of Halpern PR

“I am impressed by genuine people who speak and feel from the heart, but who have also done their homework.  To impress me, they need to show me that they know the business, or at least know what they're talking about. They also need to believe in what they're saying. Empty words are meaningless.” Jennifer Irvine, Founder of The Pure Package

“Be genuine. You can always tell when someone is telling you things you want to hear, like they are reading from a textbook. When you’re genuine and honest it stands out by a mile. Be honest about your shortcomings, but optimistic about how you can turn them around.” Jessica Diner, Editorial Director at Birchbox 

“Not ask the obvious questions. Demonstrate they have done some research about the company or the industry.  Show you can think commercially as well as creatively.” Kate Percival, Founder of Grace Belgravia 

“Stand up when someone comes in to the room, make eye contact when shaking them by the hand and don’t over-power the conversation.” Kiki McDonough, Luxury London Jeweller Kiki McDonough

“Do their research. Read about our company and clients. Know why they want their job, and what they can offer which differs from anyone else. Also, wear a good outfit.” Liz Matthews, Founder of Liz Matthews PR