As a Recruitment Consultant, there is nothing better than being able to tell a candidate that they have been invited in for an interview. You’ve managed to wow an interviewer with your CV to get through the door BUT the process does not stop there.
The next stage is to properly prepare for the interview. This is one aspect I really enjoy in my role and I want to share my top tips with you to ensure you are doing everything you can to get one step closer to that potential dream role.
You’re probably thinking, ‘this old chestnut!’ By now you should be well aware that you cannot go into an interview without doing some basic research into the company. The simplest way to do this? Go to the ‘about us’ page on their website, they usually give a brief history on the company and will probably highlight any recent big award wins or developments.
From the website, you will more than likely find social media links. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to have an active social presence, use this to your advantage and see what they have gotten up to recently. It will also give you an insight into the company culture. If you cannot find anything then try Googling them instead, this will highlight recent news.
If you are informed of the interviewer's name then look into their LinkedIn profiles. People get worried about doing this due to the person being notified, trust me when I say this, clients are impressed when they see you have taken the time to look at their profile. It indicates you are keen and are doing research.
Don’t forget to look into the location and directions on how to get there to ensure you arrive with at least 5 mins to spare, you want to arrive feeling calm and have time to get into interview mode.
Your CV is going to be a part of the interview. The interviewer will likely have a copy with them and base some of their questions for you off of the information it gleans. Therefore, you should look over and know your CV. If you are asked to describe yourself in three words or to name your strengths these should be reflective of what is on your CV and you should be able to talk about moments you may have highlighted on the document.
What to Take With You
A notepad, a working pen and a crisp copy of your CV.
I suggest writing the company name at the bottom of the page maybe with the interviewer(s) name(s). I would also write down the prepared questions you have to ensure your interview nerves don’t let you forget. We recommend preparing around 5 questions centred around the company culture, the role in question, personal challenges if you were to be offered and company plans.
First impressions are key so there are two things I believe you should prepare in advance to nail a great first impression.
1. Outfit. A lot can be said about a person from the clothes they wear. Plan your outfit out to be clean and tidy, you don’t want to distract with loud prints! Ask your consultant what they would advise based on the company but generally, business smart is good.
2. Handshake. Nobody likes a wet fish handshake, equally, no-one wants to have their hand squeezed too tight. Practice your handshake on a friend or family member to get it just right and don’t forget about eye contact.
We can never predict exactly what questions will be asked but we do know it will include asking about past roles and skillset, including strengths and weaknesses. SO when planning answers, remember, nobody likes a negative nelly, be positive. Even if you are feeling deflated in your current position, put that to one side and speak confidently and professionally about your skillset and experiences to date. Be honest with your answers, giving a false impression of yourself or your skillset will only come back to haunt you in the end.
I believe that preparation is key and your consultant is the main link between you and your potential employer, therefore, don’t hesitate to ask questions on how best to prepare, it’s what we are here to help with!