The Security Advisor top ten interview tips

Over the past two weeks I have been interviewing potential candidates for two security based roles for an organisation that is expanding its workforce.

There were minimal candidates for each role due to it being quite specialist and the salary was good, similar to what you might earn as a hostile environment close protection team member, but the role was UK based.

The standard of CV was actually very good however the interviews varied wildly from poor, good to excellent. How you come across on paper can vary wildly to how you come across in an interview. The person who seemed ideal for the job in fact scored the lowest on the interview because he wasn't able to articulate his experience effectively. For those of you who don't have the strongest of CV if you can master the interview process you can put yourself on a level playing field with someone who might have a better CV but can't articulate themselves in an interview.

These are therefore The Security Advisor top ten interview tips:

1. ​Don't use words like etcetera or phrases like 'you know what I mean' when described your experiences. You can't expect the interviewer to know what you are talking about as it is your background and capabilities that you are talking about.

2.​ If you have wrote it on your CV then you should be able to talk about it and it shouldn't take you time to recall it. You should know your CV inside out and ensure when you are talking about it that it is relevant to the role you are interviewing for.

3. If you go wrong then take it on the chin and get on with it, dwelling on your mistake, getting flustered or over apologising will not help you regain your composure.

4. Be positive about everything you talk about including when you are asked what your limits or weakness's are. Don't slag off a previous company or bring up professional relationships that have ended badly.

5. Classic questions like tell us about yourself can be scripted in advance, this should roll off the tongue and is a great way to ease yourself into an interview............. if you can't talk about and sell yourself it's a concerning start to the interview.

6. Don't use management speak or fancy words, you need to ensure the interviewer knows exactly what you are talking about, know your audience and who you are interviewing with, look them up on LinkedIn prior to the meeting.

7. No one is impressed if you turn up with your fashionable pencil tie and spiky hair, it's a job interview not a fashion show. Dress like a politician on the TV giving an interview and you won't go far wrong.

8. ​If you use personal attributes such as dynamic, innovative and adaptable then if asked about what makes you those things you should be able to explain why.

9.​ At the end of the interview if you are asked if you have any questions, this isn't your opportunity to interview the interviewer, three maximum.

10. ​If the interviewer is shuffling their papers, starting to pack up or looking at their watch it's time to wrap up what you are saying, take the hint. Remember they probably have other interviews or meetings to get to and you want to end it once you have got your main point across, not when they stop you half way through.

The Security Advisor has one of the most comprehensive guides to interviews anywhere on the internet but it's all tailored to the security industry including example answers to all the classic questions and how to extract likely questions from your CV.

Go to and use the interview section of the advice to ensure you are fully prepared for your next interview or take a look at our interview coaching package.


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