Make your interview work for you!
Prepare or prepare to fail – who said that? This is very true. Know your own CV. I have interviewed probably hundreds of candidates over the years and it amazes me that the person sitting in front of me doesn’t seem to be the same person reflected in the CV. Read your CV before going into the interview so that all your experience is fresh in your mind and take a copy with you. Those who think they can wing it just simply can’t! They don’t present at their best. So prepare, prepare, prepare!
• Prior to the interview think of 5 things about your experience relevant to the job that you do not want to leave the interview without sharing. If they haven’t come up during the interview then when asked, ‘Is there anything else you would like to share?’ ‘Yes I would like to share a couple of other things about my experience relevant to this job that haven’t been included in my answers.’
• Research the company well before the interview so that you can demonstrate you are sincere about wanting to join. You can bring in some knowledge of the company into the discussion when appropriate. However, please don’t try and overdo it, as talking about the company too much will have the reverse affect.
• When answering questions try to provide an example from your experience to demonstrate how you have handled a similar situation in the past. This information to interviewers is like gold as you can prove your readiness for the role with your relevant past experience.
• Be specific in your answers. Give the evidence – the targets that were set and how you performed with specifics. Be honest (but positive) about targets not met.
• When asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions please don’t think you have to! It’s ok just to summarise the skills that you’ll bring to the role and how sincere you are in wanting to join the company and take on the new role.
• Body language – read up on this as it’s very interesting! Look people in the eye when speaking and if a panel is interviewing you then it’s best not to show preference to only one member. Sit straight, but not like a soldier and lean into, rather than slouch. Best not to cross your arms as it indicates a closed mind!
• What to wear? This isn’t only a dilemma for women. I’ve been asked many times by men what to wear to the interview. My answer is always to show respect for the panel/interviewer/company. The level of formality will depend on the level of job you’re applying for. However, always clean, pressed and confident.
• An interview is not a time to talk about all that is bad about your current role! When asked about why you are leaving answer in a positive manner. Negativity in this answer will seal your fate! Demonstrate your loyalty to your current company at all times. In doing so you are demonstrating how loyal you will be to their company.
• How you manage the interview is demonstrating how you manage stressful situations. If it’s a sales job you’re applying for it demonstrates how you’ll manage a sales situation. Be confident but not dogmatic, be sincere, honest and demonstrate a ‘comfort in your own skin’.
• Please be on time but not too early. If early, sit in the car and read your notes and CV. Definitely do not do a ‘no show’. If something happens in your life to prevent you from making the interview please call prior to the interview and explain.
• Follow-up the interview with an email to the interviewer thanking them for the opportunity.
• If you don’t get the job it’s not a reflection of you as a person. Get ready for the next one!
In summary, be yourself! No point in trying to be anyone you think they are looking for. The job has to be the right fit you. You have to be the right fit for the role. Anything less will make it a hard road for you to follow and failure is possible. No one wants to fail. So just be yourself and ensure that you present yourself confidently and sincerely.
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Rowe & Co Global Search Consultants