Make A Great First Impression With These Essential Interview tips
So you’ve taken the first steps in your hunt for a new job by securing yourself an interview thanks to your stellar CV, but now it’s time for that all-important interview.
It’s in the best interests of your recruitment agency that you give a great account of yourself and so they should do everything they can to ensure that you fully understand the role and the company. However, there are plenty of additional steps you can take both before, during and after your interview to not only make a great first impression but stand out from the crowd.
As we’ve already touched on, your recruitment agency will give you as much information as they can to help you better understand the role and company you’re applying for, but it’s essential that you also carry out your own research to properly prepare.
The first place to start is by taking a look at their website and, where applicable, take particular note of the company mission statement, ethos, key suppliers and partners, and any standout achievements/milestones that may be useful. With this in mind, you can then begin to think about your own career highlights and personal characteristics that are likely to resonate well with your interviewers.
If you know anyone that already works at the company, it’s definitely worth finding out if they can offer any additional insight into the interview process based on their personal experience.
On the day of the interview itself, take a thorough read back through your CV so that you can confidently answer and back up any statistics, achievements or highlights that you may be asked about. Think about the most important points that you want to put across and consider how these can be weaved into the more common interview questions. These might include describing your strengths and weaknesses, actions you’ve taken that have positively impacted your current or past employers, and examples of situations where you’ve gone beyond what’s typically required.
You only get once chance to make a first impression and, regardless of the role on offer, the importance of presenting yourself in a smart and professional manner cannot be overstated. It’s always best to be overdressed rather than underdressed and, unless you’ve been specifically instructed otherwise, always wear a suit. It’s also highly advisable to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time to help avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
During the interview itself, interviewers will want to find out as much as they can about the real you, your working habits and ambitions. Feeding them stock answers that you’ve rehearsed to the point of automatic reflex will not only hinder the overall recruitment process but will do nothing to help you stand out from the crowd. Whilst preparation is key for a successful interview, be yourself and deliver your answers in a natural way. Allow your character to come through whilst remaining confident, professional and polite at all times.
Once your interview has finished, you’ll usually be informed when a decision is likely to be made by, however, don’t be afraid to ask this if it hasn’t been made clear. The same goes for the salary on offer, however, any contractual negotiations are best left until a formal offer of employment has been made.
If your opportunity has come about following the work of a recruitment agency, they’ll continue to liaise with the prospective employer on your behalf. Any supporting documents, references or follow-up interviews needed will be relayed to you via your recruitment consultant so you can focus your efforts elsewhere in the meantime. If the interview came about through your own volition, then there’s certainly no harm in following it up with an e-mail or telephone call a few days later. Employers are usually open to offering feedback on your interview performance which can be used to your advantage when applying for future roles.
If you’re still concerned about how to prepare for all stages of the interview process, contact us today – we’ll be happy to help. For a comprehensive interview guide, please download our Free Report on “How To Prepare For A Competency Based Interview”