Interviews are always nervy affairs, no matter what job you are going for. Making a Good Impression from the instance you arrive at the location of your interview is of paramount importance, so how can you ensure you are fully prepped and readily prepared for all aspects of your interview? Hopefully, this article will help you! Read on for some key interviews tips, and what to do after an interview! There will be a follow on article with top interview questions and how to answer them!
The day before
There is one phrase that nearly everyone will know and absolutely everyone should abide by. That is, of course, the famous Benjamin Franklin quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. The key to a successful interview is knowing the company inside out, and understanding the job you are going for. Research the company, ensuring you read recent news and articles about them that may provide an insight that you can bring up. For example, perhaps members of the company have recently completed a charity run. If you are a keen runner, you can mention that this is something you’d be happy to participate in. Not only does it show you have researched recent accomplishments, it also shows you fit in with the culture there.
Aside from research, ensure you know the ins and outs of the job so you can relate when answering questions in the interview. And also, make sure your best suit is washed and ironed ready for the following morning! You don’t want to be rushing around the day of your meeting. This last point leads on to something I just want to briefly mention, what to wear to an interview. I often get asked whether it is necessary to wear a full suit (and for men a tie). The answer is YES. Dress to impress!! No matter what job you are going for, I believe that you should always present your best image, and you can never be underdressed. For men, I would say your smartest suit, tie, shirt and shoes. For women, a trouser suit with smart shirt or a suit dress and jacket and smart shoes/heels if you feel comfortable in them. This may seem like common sense, however you would be surprised how many people do not think about wearing a suit to interview!
Polish up on some common interview and ensure you have good, suitable answers that relate to the role and the company, as well as showing you in a good light.
Have a look at this article for some hints and tips; https://russelltaylorgroup.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/how-to-answer-cliche-interview-questions/
If there is one main bit of advice I can offer, it would be CONFIDENCE. You may not feel it inside, but someone who arrives and portrays poise and assurance throughout the interview instantly reassures the assessors that you would carry this through to the job. But please, don’t confuse confidence with arrogance!
The aim of your interview should be to enter into a dialogue – whilst the interviewers will obviously want to find out as much about you as possible, it is also important for you to find out about the company and the job on offer. You want to try and avoid it being a one way discussion, and instead turn it into a conversation. Get the interviewer talking about themselves as this will provide important insights into how your role fits in. Perhaps they have asked you a question about what you know of the company, after you have answered you could say something along the lines of “I’d be interested in finding out how your role fits in with the company”, therefore getting them to open up.
If I relate this to the field I recruit in, Technical Sales, then the above point is of paramount importance. Not only will they be assessing you on your suitability, they will also be evaluating how you will be presenting yourself in front of customers, and how you sell yourself in an interview goes a long way to showing how you would sell their products/services.
A question I get asked a lot is how to close an interview. Stereotypically, they normally ask if you have any questions. Always have a couple up your sleeve ready, as this shows willing and again shows you have prepped well. One of your last questions should be “Have you got any reservations after meeting with me” or “Is there anything further you feel you need from me”. This again shows you have confidence, but most importantly gives you the opportunity to dispel any queries they may have.
First thing you should do after an interview is call your agent and provide detailed feedback. Always ask for them to pass on your thanks to the company for taking the time to meet with them, perhaps even email your agency contact and ask them to forward on the email, expressing how you look forward to hearing from them. This adds a personal touch and portrays politeness, organisation and good relationship skills. As earlier, if I relate this to my sector (Technical Sales) then this also demonstrates how you would approach the aftermath of a client meeting, and stands you in good stead.
If you have not gone through an agency (shock, horror!!) then it is a good idea to email direct, leaving a suitable amount of time after the interview has finished. Dependent on time of your interview, I’d say leave it either a few hours or until the following morning, so that they have had time to process the meeting, and then the email will also remind them of you at a later point.
I hope the above is helpful for the next time you are attending an interview. Every meeting is different, however fully preparing yourself for it is the best thing you can do to ensure a smooth and confident performance.
As mentioned earlier, I will be writing a follow up article to this with some common interview questions and how to answer them, so keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks!
As always, I invite feedback on any of the above, and if you have any other questions feel free to email them to email@example.com