Job Interview Tips For Nailing That New Year Career Move
— Updated on 1 February 2023

Job Interview Tips For Nailing That New Year Career Move

— Updated on 1 February 2023
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

“New year, new me,” is a common affirmation you’re no doubt familiar with, as December rolls into January. But while the start of the year is fertile ground for ambitious resolution makers, it’s also one of the best times to hunt for a new job. As anyone who’s applied for a new job will know, the process of applying isn’t always straightforward which is why getting some solid job interview tips will help you from falling at the final hurdle.

Regardless of the industry you work in or the career ambitions that you might have, the start of the year is typically when business owners and managers will generally plan for their next 12 months, which is why the number of open roles can often increase after the Christmas break. As a compounding factor, the candidates they fill those roles with will have just left a position in their previous company, creating a ripple effect through the labour market that sees even more positions open up.

On the other side of the equation, holidays often give employees time to reflect on the year that was and consider the best and worst bits of your current job. For those for whom the worst elements outweigh the best, it could be time to start a job search that addresses those issues, be they organisational culture, work-life balance, or scope for professional development, which sees the new year as a hot period for the job market.

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Tom Miles – Associate Director of Accounting & Finance at Morgan Consulting – agrees that it’s a busy period, but that it won’t necessarily stay that way.

“Coming back into 2023, we are finding that consistent with 2022, there are still a great number of fantastic opportunities for candidates to progress in their careers,” explained Miles.

“Having said that, we are noticing that the high volume of newly created roles coming in is starting to plateau, as businesses assess the economic climate in 2023. Based on this, my advice to candidates considering their options would be to explore opportunities sooner rather than later, so as to maximise the number of roles available.”

Michael McGhee from recruitment firm Chandler MacLeod agrees. Adding “the good news is here for those working in industries with a labour shortage, including accountants, civil engineers and cyber security professionals.”

Knowing where to start can often be the biggest hurdle in tackling your job search, which is why it can help to have a to-do list and plan (as well as a clear idea of your salary expectations). This phase is where research is critical. It’s not only important to have an up-to-date understanding of your industry and who the important players are, but also in understanding where your skill set might position you in the job market and as a result, the kinds of jobs you should be applying for.

“It’s imperative to research the role and company, demonstrating as much knowledge as possible,” says Miles. “It’s equally as important to research the interviewers so that you can ask suitable questions about their careers and experiences within the company. Demonstrating this knowledge will show the interviewer how invested you are in the opportunity.

Start first by doing some investigating to confirm who the leading organisations in your industry are and the companies that might be best for what you’re looking for. Often LinkedIn is a great tool for this, as you can see where senior people in your industry are working and where they’ve worked in the past, which can help you build a list of companies that you can look more deeply into. This might include visiting the company website to understand their company culture and values, seeing the major projects they’ve worked on, and the clients they have – as well as any industry awards the business might have won.

Once you have a shortlist of potential employer companies you’ve researched that might offer what you’re looking for, it’s time to visit their careers page to see if they have any roles that might be suitable for you. Even if they don’t have a careers page or marketing campaigns for a role at your level, it’s also time to visit LinkedIn again and connect with the company’s HR manager or recruiter, as well as any managers that might be relevant to your job hunt.

Make Sure Your CV Is Perfect

If you’ve never met the hiring manager of the organisation you’re looking to apply for, your CV or resume is the only piece of information they have about you, which is why it’s important to get it as close to perfect as possible.

Make sure you have your contact information on it including your phone number and email address, but other personal information such as a home address, age or gender shouldn’t be required without a good reason.

The format of your CV is important for anyone in a busy professional job to read, so make sure the most relevant information comes first. Start with details about your present job, the responsibilities you have in it and any specific achievements you’ve had, before repeating that format for all of your previous roles. Follow this up with any key skills or key attributes you have developed that are relevant to the job you’re applying to, as well as the details of your education (including online courses) also in reverse chronological order.

“Candidates who consistently stand out from the pack are the candidates who are well prepared for their job search and have invested time into building a well-written resume, can articulate their experiences and professional achievements and have and have been thorough with their research prior to the interview,” confirms Miles.

McGhee adds the important point that “your job is changing, even if you aren’t changing roles. To stay competitive in this market you’ll need to be up-skilled or re-skilled in areas such as self-management, leadership, digital skills and project management.”

Once you’ve finished your CV, make sure you triple-check it for spelling and grammatical mistakes (especially if you’ve copied and pasted it from a previous CV) and make sure you ask a trusted friend or previous colleague to read it for clarity and relevance (it might be awkward if you ask someone at your current employer). Once your CV is polished and ready to go, it’s time to start sending it out and locking in some interviews.

Job Interview Tips To Win Hiring Manager Hearts & Minds

While research and preparation are important to ensure you get a foot in the door, it’s equally important to impress during the next step of the hiring process – the interview process. Always make sure you read the job description carefully and understand what the business is looking for ahead of going to any job interviews, as it’s not a good look to have a poor understanding of the role you’re interviewing for.

As a part of your interview preparation, it can also be helpful to practice a couple of mock interviews, as well as brush up on the kinds of job interview questions you might get asked.

McGhee emphasises the importance of preparation when it comes to interviewing successfully for a role, explaining that, “preparation has and always will be key to nailing your next job interview.

“Practice answering behavioural interview questions using the STAR method, ensure you have some questions ready to ask the interviewer and show gratitude at the end of the process to add some positivity and personality.”

Lists of common interview questions are widely available, so make sure you take the time to read up on them and have prepared answers to any likely interview questions. In terms of the most important things to think about before your next interview, consider the following.

Face-To-Face Is Best

“When given the opportunity to interview over video or in person, always opt for a face-to-face meeting,” Miles explains. “My experience is that the candidate who meets a prospective employer face to face almost always secures the offer over the candidate that interviewed virtually.

“You can’t beat the rapport that is built by shaking someone’s hand and chatting in person for the duration of the meeting. The added bonus for you is that you are able to experience the commute into the office and also to get a feel for the work environment you will be in.”

You Catch More Bees With Honey

“Attitude vs Aptitude is a strong discussion point when hiring, and frequently we are seeing that attitude prevails, as it is easier to teach aptitude than attitude,” Miles suggests. “Employers want to know that the candidate joining the business is going to fit in well with the team.

“They want to know that you will be approachable, trainable and genuinely fit in well with the culture they have fought hard to cultivate. I often find that clients will take somebody who made need upskilling technically if they can present themselves as a strong cultural fit.

Answer Questions, But Don’t Forget To Ask Them Too

“Make sure that you are prepared to ask questions at the end of the meeting,” says Miles. “I advise candidates to research the background of the role, company and interview prior to the interview, and to have a long list of questions to ask prepared.

“Not only will you want to know the answers to these questions, but you also want the interviewer to understand you are genuinely invested in the opportunity. You don’t want to be the candidate that missed out on a job offer because they had no questions to ask at the end of the interview.”

Be Professionally Self Aware

“It may sound obvious, but make sure you know your CV back to front,” says Miles. “This is the story of your career, it will be awkward if the interviewer asks you a question from it and you aren’t able to answer it with confidence.”

Money Talks, But Not Too Much

When it comes to salary, Miles explains it’s not a good look, “when a candidate’s sole motivation for moving roles is a pay increase. The likelihood is that they will receive and accept a counteroffer for more money at the end of the process. It’s ok to want a salary increase, but I want to know what else motivates you in your job.”

Background Research

It’s one of the most common interview questions, but it’s a red flag when “candidates can’t talk through their job moves and explain why they happened,” suggests Miles.

“There are many valid reasons for people having had quick job moves, but due to the costly nature of hiring and training, a prospective employer is going to want you to put their mind at ease that they aren’t going to be replacing your position in a short period of time.”

Don’t Burn Bridges To Light Your Way

Another thing to avoid, according to Miles, is speaking very, “negatively about one or more previous employers. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to have had negative experiences in their last company, but you want your interview to focus on the positive things that you learned. Remember, the person who is interviewing you will be assessing what you may say about their business should you eventually leave.”

McGhee builds on this point, suggesting that, “arriving late with no explanation or apology and poor listening skills,” are in the same boat as trashing a previous employer.

Hunting for a new job can sometimes be a stressful situation, but if you’re properly prepared by having the self-awareness to know what you’re looking for, as well as what you can bring to a particular role, then keeping eye contact as you sit in the job interview meeting room should be a breeze.

“All candidates should be prepared to be flexible,” McGhee offers as a final thought. “The post-COVID world has shown us that businesses work most effectively with flexibility, which comes from both the company and their employees.

No matter if you’re looking for a boss with a more suited management style than at your current company, a role that exposes you to the right kind of challenging situation or more autonomy within your own work, the right job is out there for you. All you need to do is go and find it.

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Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


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