So, you have spent months deciding whether or not to look for a new job. You took hours preparing your CV reading all sorts of blogs and websites to get hints and tips. You launched yourself into the job hunt, registering with Monster, Jobserve, Reed and any other site you could find. You completely re-branded your Linked In profile – everyone prefers a photo shopped picture after all.
Then the calls rolled in, recruitment company after recruitment company got in contact telling you they had the best job in the world for you (most didn’t). After lots of calls and rights to represent you have an interview at a company you actually want to join!
So how do you make sure you give yourself the best chance of success, after all you haven’t interviewed for years.
Here are my dos & don'ts….
1. Do your prep – Make sure the recruitment agent tells you everything he knows about the company and the manager / managers you are meeting. Has the agent had interviews with this manager before, how did they go, were they relaxed or formal, have some intelligent questions prepared – Do your prep
2. Don’t say we – No one is interested in what you did with your team, they are interviewing you – so talk about you. Avoid sentences starting with “we” and use sentences that start with “I” – I was responsible, I designed etc etc – Don’t say we
3. First appearances count – You can use all of the hints & tips in the world however the fact is you have seconds upon meeting someone to form an impression in their mind, in fact research by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov indicated that the human brain took milliseconds to decide whether or not you like someone. So make sure you are smart, ask your agent (if you have one) what is the dress code, do you need a tie? Dry clean your suit, iron your shirt, polish your shoes and brush your hair! Yes I have had people rejected because they hadn’t brushed their hair – don’t make their mistake – First appearances count
4. Answer the question – If someone asks you a question, they want to know the answer. They don’t want to know the answer to the question you would prefer they asked. This is one of the most common interview mistakes I have experienced. LISTEN and – Answer the question
5. Don’t be arrogant – Believe it or not we often get told that candidates have come across as arrogant or over confident in interviews and this puts people off. Yes you're good, yes you can add value but remember you want the job, act like it – Don’t be arrogant
6. Silence is not golden – Silence is the death of an interview. Sure there may be a question you do not know the answer to, but don’t sit there dumbfounded, say you don’t know but explain how you would find out – Silence is not golden
7. Be on time – I know it wasn’t your fault the train was cancelled, I know you couldn’t help it the bus didn’t turn up, the M25 was manic, what a shame. No one cares. This is your chance to get the job you want, if the journey is going to take two hours, allow four. Being late is not acceptable – be on time
8. Close the interview – Don’t leave any loose ends, find out there and then how the interview went. Ask a simple question – “is there anything I have said or haven’t said that would make you think I wasn’t the right candidate for this job” – Close the interview