What Do Interviewers Look For?

What to know what an interviewer is looking for during an interview? Let’s ask one…

Meet Faye Sawyer, Talent Consultant at McDonald’s

Faye has worked for McDonald’s for 23 years and started as a Crew Member. She worked her way up to a Restaurant Manager before moving into the HR Team at Head Office. So we asked her some questions to give you some insight into what interviewers are looking for…

What is your role in McDonald’s?

I am a Talent Consultant – my job is to ensure that jobs within McDonald’s head office are filled with talented individuals. I do this by firstly identifying people within the business and giving them the opportunity for career progression, but also looking outside of McDonald’s for people who could be right for the job. I manage the whole process from advertising the jobs, to interviewing and then helping someone settle in on their first day.

How many years’ experience of interviewing do you have?

As both a Manager in a McDonald’s restaurant and as a Consultant in the HR team, interviewing people has been a key part of my job. I have more than 15 years’ experience in interviewing for both restaurant and Head Office employees.

What skills are you looking for in an interview?

Key skills to demonstrate are good communication, organisation/self-management, problem solving, teamwork and self-belief. You will probably be asked questions that will help demonstrate these skills so prepare a list of examples before the interview.

How can someone demonstrate these skills?

Before your interview think of examples of activities or a time when you have shown these skills so you are prepared. For instance, for teamwork you could use a sporting activity as an example. For organisation you might have had a school project or activity that demonstrates this. Good communication could be a presentation or group activity that you have taken part in. Think about the different areas of your life where you use these skills such as school/college, previous work experience, sporting activities and social activities like Youth Groups or Scouts/Guides.

What else are you looking for during an interview?

Appearance – think about your appearance and what to wear. Create a good first impression by having a neat and tidy appearance.

Preparation – show that you have prepared by arriving on time. Do research so you have good knowledge of the company and have questions ready to ask.

Body language – look confident and interested through good body language. Sit up straight, make eye contact, use hand gestures to emphasise points you are making, and focus on the interviewer rather than the surroundings.

What advice would you give to someone attending their first interview?

Practice! Try to rehearse for it by getting someone to act as the interviewer and ask you questions. It will help you feel more confident and relaxed during your interview.

Finally, what are your top tips for an interviewee?

Believe in yourself and be you. If you’ve been invited to a job interview, you have already impressed the employer or recruiter, and they think you could be a good fit for the job.

So be confident and go in with a positive attitude.

Download A Handy Guide to Interviews