So you’ve secured an interview for your dream job? Excellent! Now just to make sure you’re prepared for whatever may get thrown at you on the day!
Interviews can be a scary, nerve-wracking experience, but they really needn’t be. It all comes down to preparation and getting the basics right to make sure you make the right impression. And when I say basics, I’m not just talking about wearing your best suit, arriving on time, keeping good eye contact, speaking clearly and a firm handshake.
No, these things of course are important and will set you off on the right foot but there’s a few other things you can do to make sure you leave a lasting impression and ensure that you’re the candidate the employer is itching to call back with a big fat offer!
I thought it might be helpful here to compile a short list of tips and tricks based on my experience of working in recruitment for the last 5 years and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your consultant.
- Use your recruitment consultant to get as much information as possible about what to expect from the interview. It’s great that you have the job description and have done your research on line but a consultant worth his or her salt will have information you won’t be able to find anywhere else. They should know what you might be asked; what the interviewers are “really” looking for; what puts them off; what will grab their attention. Your consultant should be calling you with all this information and if they’re not; call them and ask!
- Take a copy of your CV, the job description and make some notes of good examples of your experience and some questions you want to ask. You’ll look well prepared and if you forget something or “go blank” you’ve something handy to jog your memory and refer to. Everyone’s suffered that moment in an interview when what you really wanted to say goes out of your head! If it gets really bad, take a breath, have a drink of water and ask the interviewer a question.
If you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation, check what it is they’re expecting from you. Prepare it well in advance and get your consultant to cast a second pair of eyes over it. They should know again what the client’s looking for in more detail than the brief you’ve been given and will be able to give you some handy pointers. Take plenty of handouts, and if you’re using your own laptop make sure you have your power adapter with you!
- Do your research on who will be interviewing you. Use Linkedin to your advantage. Find out where they worked before and ask them why they joined the business and what they like about working there. It’ll help you decide if it’s the right job for you. It’s a two way process after all. Oh, and make sure you call them by the correct name during the interview. A simple thing you might think but I have known some occasions where a candidate has called the interviewer by the wrong name throughout!
- Dress smart and look your best but dress appropriately. I know that outfit looked great on you when you last wore it to Friday night cocktails but……really?! For further guidance on dressing for success read Top 10 Tips for Interview Dress Etiquette
Here is a really useful video to guide you through your interview step by step.
These are just a few ideas based on my experience and where I’ve seen people sometimes not get it quite right. Now you’re hopefully all set. Good luck!
You can contact Jo on 0161 615 9000 or email him at email@example.com. The North team consist of Jo, Paula Shaw, Jorja Carr and Gemma Thomason. and are supported by a UK network of HR Recruitment Consultants.