As a Recruiter I come across people frequently who make easily avoidable mistakes during an interview that cost them a spot on the candidate short-list. There are a few simple, smart tips to keep in mind during the interview process that, provided you already have the core requirements for the role, should score you a coveted spot on the short-list, or even better, the job itself.
Below I highlight the top 5 smartest interview tips that I recommend all job seekers take into serious consideration prior to attending their next interview.
#1 – Be Prepared
The three specific things you need to do to prepare include understanding the company, reviewing the job ad and how it relates to your experience, and finally learning a little bit about the people you are meeting with.
• Understand the company. When you take the time to learn about the organization, you should understand what the company does, what industry it operates in, and its position in the market place. Having this depth of knowledge is more important and impressive over simply memorizing and repeating basic company statistics.
• Review the job ad. Another way to properly prepare yourself is to review the job ad in detail and compare the job ad against your experience. When looking at the position summary section it would be helpful to think of when you have successfully executed each of the outlined tasks in the past. Your interviewer will likely ask you questions based on the information in the job ad, so having answers prepared for this will help you think on your feet.
• Know your interviewers. It never hurts to do a little research on the people who are interviewing you – whether it be where they went to school, how long they have worked at the company, or any other piece of info you can absorb. Good sources for gaining this info would be LinkedIn and the organization’s website. It helps to build rapport with interviewers when you can comment on or ask questions around something you learned about them as it shows that you have a genuine interest in them.
#2 – Let your interviewers guide you
Most Recruiters and Hiring Managers have a set list of questions they want to hit on throughout the interview. Interviewers will be able to expertly ask these questions all the while making the interview appear conversational. They know how to keep the flow of the interview going and how to manage the length of the interview. Because of this, it’s important to ensure you answer each question as specifically and succinctly as possible to ensure there is enough time to get through all of the interviewer’s questions and leave time at the end for any questions you may have.
#3 – Be yourself
I think sometimes people get caught up in trying hard to impress interviewers by acting a certain way that they feel will appeal to the hiring manager rather than simply being themselves. Remember though, you ultimately want to work somewhere where you are appreciated and accepted the way you are which means you need to get hired based on your authentic self which you can show-off during the interview process.
#4 – Be positive
It’s important to keep in mind that an interview is your chance to make a positive first impression on those interviewing you. If you come across as bored, unenthusiastic, or negative, this likely will not go over well. You may just be having an off day, but the interview process is all that the interviewers have to go on regarding who they think you are and how you will do in the role. Make sure you stay positive!
#5 – Ask questions
Remember that an interview is a two-way process – not only is the company assessing whether you are the right fit for their open role, you need to ask questions to help you assess whether the company and position are right for you. If you have anything you are curious about that you want to clarify regarding the role, be sure to ask about that. Otherwise, there are three questions you should always ask at the end of every interview.
• What are the top 3 qualities you are looking for in an ideal candidate? Asking this question is strategic – as soon as the interviewer answers, it’s your opportunity to speak up and identify how you meet each of these requirements. You do this at the end of the interview because it gives you the opportunity to solidify why you are a great fit for the opportunity.
• What are the next steps in the interview process and when can you expect to hear back? This will show your interest in the role and also will help you get a feel for what to expect should you proceed throughout the process.
• Ask for the contact information of the interviewers so that you can follow up after the interview with a brief thank-you note. A little etiquette will take you a long way!
If you can remember these 5 tips when preparing for and engaging in the interview process, you will surely be successful! Good luck!
If you are a candidate or an organization in Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington or the general Toronto area requiring job search or recruitment support, please contact Key Recruitment Consulting today to see how we can help.