Over the years I’ve sent 100’s of candidates to interviews for all manner of customers on a global basis. One thing remains constant and that is candidates and customers alike have their own interview style! There is no perfect system or formula for getting a new job.
You cannot control your interests or how you will feel when sitting down in-front of someone for the first time, the simple fact is that they may just not like the way you look! That being said it’s not all doom and gloom! 9/10 interviews are decided in the 1st 10 minutes of conversation as stated by the majority of my customers and there are ways to sway the above in your favor.
Below are the top 5 things you should be doing before you even step foot in an interview situation:
Understand the format of the interview. Quiz the recruiter or HR on what the manager actually wants to know from you. NEVER ASSUME.. You know what they say about assumptions.
Is the interview technical, competency, informal, presentation or a grilling? Prepare accordingly. The worst thing for a first impression is misreading the situation and putting yourself on the back-foot from minute 1.
Know who is interviewing you. When I say know who is interviewing you I don’t just mean their name. Know this person, know their interests, previous employment history, where they were educated, common connections on LinkedIn and in some instances ask mutual connections about them.
Even if you take one piece of common ground between the pair of you, this is an ice breaker. Its breaks the barrier of interviewer to interviewee and creates a mutual ground environment.
Read the job specification and your CV again. Just because you’ve done the job for 20 years doesn’t mean that you understand 100% what the customer is looking for. Organisations are now looking to amalgamate positions either to save money or have a better knowledge share across the business. You need to understand every aspect of what the role is.
Know your CV back to front! The majority of interviewers will have your CV in front of them and will want to understand key information. If you have tailored your profile to the particular job then understand and remember any changes.
Logistics. This is probably the most simple on the list but it’s amazing how many times everything goes wrong on the day of an interview. The car won’t start, trains are cancelled, unexpected traffic or internet connection fails are just some of the reasons I’ve heard as to why candidates are going to be late for interviews.
Prepare yourself, it sounds ridiculous but plan your route a few days before at the actual time of the interview (Current Traffic). You could be the best candidate for the job but being late for an interview can kill any chance you had.
Dress Code. This goes back to being aware of your audience and company you are interviewing with. You wouldn’t turn up to an interview a corporate bank in shorts and a Yoda t-shirt as they will laugh you out of the door.
Get the information before you go. Wearing a suit is not always best policy; tech start-up’s and the more creative businesses want to see someone who will represent their values and culture.
This information is visible to everyone but not everyone will use it. Give yourself the best opportunity to get the job you want. You can do all of the preparation you like for questions in the interview but starting on the back-foot can destroy anyone’s chances of being selected. Following the steps above will help you gain the edge on interviews.