Interview Tips

We have seen amazing qualified candidates faltering at interviews – thus lowering their success rate. We have seen some very average candidates pull in great interview shows based on their attitude and their preparation. Remember that you are already shortlisted – they liked your resume and think that you are fit for the job, now is your time to shine and seize the moment. Here are some quick tips before you go for your interviews:

 

The number one reason for an unsuccessful job interview is lack of preparation. Success comes from preparing thoroughly, researching the company and knowing what to expect in the interview process – please get in touch with your recruitment consultant to know more about the interview process and general trends of questioning for your next client interview. The interview is a prime opportunity for you to sell yourself to the interviewer, focusing on your strengths and the skills you can bring to a position. The more you prepare the more confident you will feel.

 

 You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Leverage your opportunity well. Prepare Well, Act Smart and Be Professional at all times.

 There are many sources of company and industry information. You can gather information from the company website, press articles and online resources. The larger the company, the more likely you will be able to get a sense of their financial position. Is the company booming or do they need new blood and an innovative boost? Is the business unit you are talking to filling positions for replacements or new groups ?  What  is the industry consensus with respect to the client positioning and future success. Speak to our consultants – they will know some of the best places to look, and they have tremendous private trusted networks to get information and may even have some of the information themselves for your benefit.

Please check the following information:

Company History and Background

  • Try to find how long the company has been established and who owns the company. Are they part of a group or independent? How did the company evolve and how has it developed its market? Look up the company mission statement and their recently released press releases. You may have your friends or Linkedin connections that can throw more light on the company’s direction – please get that information.

 

  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s organizational structure and size

If the company has multiple sites and additional products/services research them, where they are located, divisions, subsidiaries and brand names. Developing a deeper understanding of the environment, and where shall your job role contribute will prepare you for a more thorough interview.

 

  • Investigate the market
    Find out about the company’s stance in the market, who do they come up against on a regular basis? What are their strengths in comparison to their competitors? Who is their client base?

 

  • Research the role
    Knowing as much as you can about the role is just as important as researching the company. Why the role is available, what it will entail, who you will be reporting to? Speak to your consultant it is possible they may be able to provide you with an in-depth job specification and key performance indicators.

 

  • Ensure that you have READ your RESUME prior to the interview.
    Most of the questions asked will be based on the information you have provided them with. Make sure everything on there is correct and up to date. If there are gaps in your resume or you have had a number of roles make sure you can overcome this. Be prepared to answer questions on all of your previous positions and your reasons for leaving.

 

 

Key questions – What to Expect

 

No interview follows the same format; it usually depends on the position and the organization. However there are a number of key questions that are commonly asked in an interview, particularly at first interview stage;

  • Tell Me about Yourself ( Please prepare – this is your best opportunity to make a great first impression – come as someone who is accomplished, has career direction and a great match for the job role.)
  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • What have been your greatest achievements? These do not always have to be work related think about your personal achievements as well.
  • What has been your biggest disappointment?
  • How well do you work under pressure?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should I employ you?
  • What do you know about our company?

In order to answer these questions calmly and professionally you need to prepare by:

 

  • Thoroughly researching the employer, the market and the role
  • Understanding what skills you possess and how they can benefit the company – Be prepared to give examples
  • Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can overcome your weaknesses – When identifying your weaknesses try to turn a negative into a positive and explain what measures you have taken to overcome them.
  • Identify your achievements and how you achieved them
  • Look at decisions you have had to make, the thought process and the outcome from that decision
  • Consider what motivates you and why

 

While it is important to let the interviewer dominate the interview it is important to ask relevant questions, it should be a two-way communication. However, be careful not to ask questions on topics already covered by the interviewer:

 

 

  • Why is the position available?
  • Who would I be reporting to?
  • What type of training opportunities would be on offer?
  • Is there opportunity for progression within the organization?
  • How do I compare to other candidates you have interviewed?
  • How do you see my skills and achievements fitting into your organization?
  • Do you have any reservations – this is better to ask at the end of the first interview so if there are any reservations you have the opportunity to use your skills to overcome them there and then?

 

The first interview is not a good time to ask about salary and benefits. This should be left until the second interview or until the client raises the question. If the client asks what salary you are on never answer them directly, suggest instead what you would ideally be looking for.  Please take advice from your consultant to ask more about how to handle salary issues – don’t try to push too much and appear desperate for just a salary hike! At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time. If you are interested in the position tell them. Ask what the next steps are and what timescales they are working to. You should leave the interview knowing:

  • Am I interested in the job?
  • Is the company interested in me?
  • What is the next stage?

 

Remember to call your consultant straight after the interview. This is important as it gives us the opportunity to go back to the company to confirm your interest whilst you are still fresh in the interviewers mind. If we have your feedback, when we speak to the company it demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm. The same day send a personalized e-mail to the interviewer reinforcing your interest in the position and once again thanking them for their time.

 

 

Improve Your Interview Techniques

 

Before you leave for the interview make sure you have with you the address of where you are meeting the interviewer, a location map, the name of the person you will be meeting, their job title and a contact number in case you need to reach them. Your consultant will provide you will all of this information. Please have the contact numbers of our consultants as well if you need any support at any time – we have our team on standby for your success.

 

Plan your journey in advance to beat traffic woes and give yourself plenty of time to get there. If you are going to be late then make sure you contact the interviewer or speak to your consultant who will get hold of them for you.

 

Presentation:

Presentation is a key part of any interview. You need to present yourself in the best light possible. Make sure you are dressed for the vacancy you are being interviewed for. Always wear your smartest suit and make sure your shoes are well polished. Dependent upon the company policy on dress code the consultant may advise you differently.

  • Choose a conservative color
  • Dress professionally without overdressing
  • Avoid wearing inappropriate jewelry or casual clothing or casual accessories
  • Always feel smart and comfortable

 

Body Language:

 

Body language is defined as ‘what we say without actually saying anything’ – the first 30 seconds of an interview are the most important, based on how you look, eye contact and a relaxed posture.

 

  • Practice a firm, confident handshake and look the interviewer directly in the eye, maintain this eye contact throughout the interview.
  • How you sit is also important, avoid defensive body positions such as crossing your arms or your legs they will convey to the interviewer that you are anxious.

 

During the Interview:

Employers are looking for enthusiasm, professionalism and confidence. Make sure you remain professional before, during and after the interview. Relax and be yourself, but don’t forget that you are involved in the interview process from the moment you arrive until you leave.

  • Stay focused – keep your answers short and to the point
  • Don’t dominate the interviewer – never interrupt
  • Be assertive, not aggressive
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification
  • Don’t rush your answers – take a moment to think
  • Be positive – don’t say anything negative about your previous employers
  • Be honest