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Posted by Niche Recruitment
18th April 2016
Being selected for an interview means you’re on the yellow brick road to potential success! Don’t crack open that bottle of champers quite yet though. In this introduction, we’re going to take you through a few pointers to help you smash that interview with flying colours. Sit tight and take notes.
To have been shortlisted for interview means you’ve been chosen ahead of what may have been a large number of other candidates. Every employer will have a different approach to the interview process. Your recruitment consultant will provide you with a brief. This could include a host of hints, including approximate interview duration, other participants, second or third interviews, and most importantly which key attributes the employer is seeking.
We will help you prepare for the interview, but it may also be useful to talk to a friend or relative for any useful tips…they may see something in you that will help!
Possibly our ‘numero uno’ tip at Niche Recruitment is to research the job description and company. Nothing screams ‘DO NOT EMPLOY ME’ more than being under prepared. Don’t think you can blag this either, interviewers can tell! Do some online research and find out more about the company’s people, services or products. Prepare some chosen questions you would like more information about, but at the same time, don’t OVER-prepare. Interviewers like to see you’ve done your homework, but not at the risk of sounding scripted. Instead, jot down a few bullet points to develop on; let your natural inquisitiveness and conversational prowess shine through.
2. YOUR CV
You should know your own life better than anyone. If there’s anything you’re an expert at it’s this. So make sure you know your stuff on ‘you’. Review your own CV so you can be prepared for any questions the employer may ask. This could be dates of employment, qualifications, or reasons for gaps between jobs. If it sounds like the interviewer is jumping around your CV, they’re not trying to catch you out, they just want to make sure you’re on the ball.
3. HOW DO YOU LOOK?
Studies show that potential employers make a first impression within the first few seconds of exposure to someone. So make it count!
Different industries and environments will have a bearing on what is generally acceptable in regards to office-wear. However! Regardless of how casual you know the dress-code is at the potential company, interview dress is pretty much universal. Make sure that as a bottom-line standard, you’re presentable; this means clean and smart. Is your shirt ironed? Shoes polished? Hair combed? Lay everything out the night before, so you’re not rushing around on the day. Prevent awkward readjusting and impromptu trouser hoiking by investing in a well-fitting outfit.
4. ARRIVE ON TIME
Approaching an interview is like going to the cinema; you’ll want to arrive there a few minutes early to check in and get yourself settled, or risk the stink eye at your fumbling entry. Time keeping for an interview is one of the main indications of your attitude to the job in general, so make sure you portray the right outlook. Plan your route, figure out where to park, and leave a few minutes comfortable breathing time. Being 10 minutes early is fine…10 minutes late is not! And keeping with the cinema analogy; now’s a good time to put your phone on silent. Incessant vibrating during an interview is just not professional.
5. THE BEGINNING
We know you’re nervous, but take a deep breath and remember: they can’t eat you. The company needs to fill this role and you have all the experience to secure it, otherwise we wouldn’t have put you forward! So when you see the interviewer? Stand up straight! A strong but pleasantly personalised greeting is key; the interviewer wants to see you’re confident, so a smile never goes amiss. Secondly…don’t have a limp fish for a hand. A firm handshake does wonders in setting the scene and establishing yourself as a contender.
6. THE MIDDLE
Okay, so you’ve got this far; you owned the introduction. Your handshake was firm, you’re looking on point and you’re building a decent rapport with the interviewer. Good Job! Now’s your chance to really get into your stride.
Demonstrate why YOU are the best choice for the role. Be positive and emphasise your strengths. Don’t lie (seriously, these interviewers have been in the game for a while, they can see you coming a mile off), and listen carefully to ensure you can give an appropriate answer. We suggest using the ‘STAR’ method when answering questions. Google it. It’s great. It takes you through an example based technique to effectively and efficiently answer most things.
The interviewer is likely to ask a range of competency-based questions. They might sound scary, but break them down and go with your gut instinct. Use examples from your own experience to make the situation more relatable. Don’t be afraid of asking your own queries; this interview is a two way process, and the interviewer will appreciate your invested curiosity in the role.
7. THE END
See that marker in the distance? That’s the finish line…you’re almost there! But hold up! Before you sprint off out of the interview, make sure you have all the information you need, and ask if they do too. If you are interested in the role and company, then make sure they know you are! Don’t be left in the dark either, ask what happens next in regards to the next stage of the process.
Finish on a positive note…the final impression of you you’re leaving them with is almost as important as the initial meeting. Thank them for their time, and offer up another of those polished handshakes.
Call us straight after your interview. Not only do we want to congratulate you, but we’re also nosey and want to find out your feedback… That way, we can share your comments with the client and get their feedback too.
8. NEXT STEPS
Not that we’re condoning drinking, but pour yourself a glass; you deserve it. It might be a few days before we can get back to you, but if it’s a yes then well done!…You’ve made it to the second stage interview. Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you in the sticks here. At Niche, we follow your progress till a final outcome occurs, so we’ll give you a lowdown on what happens next. At the same time, if you’re still in work, don’t resign until you have written confirmation of a job offer and the terms are acceptable and as discussed.
If it’s a no, then we’ll make good effort to investigate constructive feedback for you and find out the reasons why. We want your experience with Niche Recruitment to be positive, so help us help you to get what you want out of it.