Interviews, eh? Everyone hates them. Stressful, nerve-wracking, and you never really come away feeling like you really represented the true you.
They don’t have to be like that. I promise.
I’ve been on both sides of the interview process – the interviewee and the interviewer. I’ve worked in recruitment in a few guises new for about two years, both as a recruitment consultant and as part of an internal recruitment team and I can promise you – pinky swear – they don’t have to be torture. I’ve put together my top tips on how to smash your interview, and I’ll get a post with essential CV tips up soon too!
Do you have any essential interview DO’s or DON’T’S? Leave them in the comments below!
- Know your audience.
One of the big things you should always do once you have an interview booked is RESEARCH. Ideally, you’ll have saved a copy of the job description when you applied, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask for a copy. You need to know:
– Who is interviewing you? Get on LinkedIn. Find out your interviewers background – not their life story but how long they’ve been with the company, what their job title is, etc.
– What do the company do? Again, you don’t need every detail but when were they founded, what is their core market, things like that. You can usually find this on their website. Check out Glassdoor for employee reviews too!
– What the job will be doing? Get those key points off of the job description, and make sure you understand them inside out.
- Use your research.
There’s no point doing all this work and not putting it to any use! I always recommend taking a notebook with a few key notes about the company and the job – leave that open in front of you. It shows you’re well prepared, have taken an interest and can be a good conversation point!
- Know where you’re going.
Being late always sets a terrible first impression. It shows that you don’t value the interviewers time, as they’ve likely got a busy diary, have poor time management skills or simply don’t care enough about the role. We are human – we know things happen out of our control, but as soon as you know you’ll be late, get in touch! Drop a call or an email as a last resort explaining the situation and apologising.
To avoid being late, know where you’re going. What public transport will you need to take? Where’s parking? You can always ask this ahead of your interview, and it’s good to do a trial run before the interview if you don’t know exactly where you’re going.
- Have questions prepared.
There’s nothing more awkward than at the interview being asked “do you have any questions?” and your answer is a blunt no. That might be true – they might have answered all your questions – but dress it up a bit! It’s much better to say “I was going to ask you about X but you already answered that!”. Go into the interview with some questions you want to ask. DO NOT ask about salary, holidays, benefits, or anything to do with the package on the first interview. Do ask what the next stage of the process will be and when you can expect to hear back.
- BE YOURSELF.
At the end of the day, if somewhere doesn’t like you for you, or appreciate your unique talents, do you want to work for them? No! It’s hard not to get downhearted when you’re looking for a job and facing rejections, but it’s very rarely a personal issue. Seek feedback if you are rejected – where did you fall down? It might be something as simple as not answering a question quite clearly enough, and now you know for next time!