Interview advice to help you succeed
Regardless of how or where your interview is taking place, we always recommend having a copy your CV and the job description in front of you. This makes it easy to refer to and one less thing to remember.
It’s also a good idea to have a pen and paper nearby as you might want to note down questions/key points during the interview. It can also be a lifesaver if you’re feeling nervous and gives you something else to focus on briefly.
Remember, even if your CV is with multiple parties and you have more than one interview, treat each interview like it is the only one.
It is imperative that you thoroughly research the organisation and background of the interviewers. Both the internet and their company website will provide you with the information you need.
Start by identifying their vision/mission statement and learning about the company history and their competitors. Then move onto areas like current and future finance projections/sales figures, strategies etc.
Once you know enough, it is now time to focus on the requirements of the role and how you can deliver on those.
General interview advice
Positivity is key!
Negativity in any shape or form is not good in an interview situation. When discussing a problem, address it briefly and quickly move onto talking about solutions.
Keep ALL interviewers engaged
Always try to involve all interviewer(s) – Whether that be through questions about their background, or core questions regarding the role. We all know that there’s nothing worse than not being involved in a conversation.
Demonstrate attentiveness during the interview
Let the interviewer(s) know you’ve been listening and taking information in – By making note of key points discussed by the interviewer(s). Discuss areas of note and ask questions (where applicable). Helping to demonstrate focus, interest and knowledge to the interviewers.
Have questions ready to ask the interviewer(s)
Ask questions that will be positively construed, focusing on the needs (and wants) of the company – NOT the needs and wants of you. In other words, justify how you can satisfy their requirements (NOT how they can satisfy yours)!
Are your questions going to make you more or less desirable?
You are selling a product (you). The more expensive and/or difficult you are to obtain, the less desirable you become to the prospective employer. For example, asking if the prospective employer will pay for relocation costs, is a very quick way to alienate yourself – Companies very rarely pay relocation costs.
Check for mutual connections on LinkedIn
It is always worth seeing if you have any mutual connections with the interviewers on LinkedIn. Not only does it make for a brilliant topic of conversation, it can also be very beneficial when it comes to deciding whether or not you are suitable for the role (naturally, people feel better hiring someone they know).
The new norm: Video interviews
Run an audio/video test before your interview and have a backup form of communication agreed if you experience technical issues. Let’s face it, technology doesn’t always work the way you want it to!
In addition to this, check how your webcam is positioned and rearrange anything showing in the background so it is clear and clutter free.
Most interviews start with an introductory chat, and then move onto more formal questions, concluding with the opportunity for you to ask any remaining questions.
Answer all questions with detail, using relevant examples. Now that you’re already at interview stage, the company likely already thinks you can do the job – All you have to do is reassure them that you will be an asset to their business.
We also can’t stress enough how important it is to know your CV inside and out – You’ll almost certainly be talking through it. Use it to your advantage by justifying how your experience suits the role.
How to impress in face to face interviews
Ensure that your body language and posture is good, greeting interviewers while standing with excellent eye contact and a strong handshake to match.
Once the interview starts, follow the same points listed for video interviews, answering their questions in detail with relevant examples.
Again, make sure you know your CV inside and out as they will probably go through it in-front of you!
After the interview
Once the interview comes to an end, thank them and explain how much the role means to you, reiterating your availability (ideally immediate). Remind them that this is your preferred role (assuming this is true!) and ask what the next steps are in the process.
Follow this up with an email thanking them for the opportunity to interview for the role (again, only if appropriate), reiterating why you are interested and what you can bring to the organisation. This is also an opportunity to highlight anything you forgot to say in the interview (ONLY positive things that is).