You’ve been invited to interview for a great job opportunity. This could be the position of your dreams and you want to impress. How do you prepare so that you’re hitting all the right notes and ensure that you’re successful?
At Campbell Rochford we believe that a couple of key preparatory tools will ensure that not only do you perform at your optimum, but that you are more confident and assured in your delivery. For many clients, it’s not what you say that matters so much as how you say it. Being honest, most employers would admit that they’ve already formed an opinion about you within five minutes of your interview commencing, so it’s vital that in those first moments you make a good first impression and that you support this throughout the interview by putting in your best performance. To ensure that you’re the best candidate at interview, we recommend the following steps.
- Research the job – what experience or skills are the company looking for and how do yours match up? Have you compared your CV with the job spec and identified where the gaps exist, if any? How do you plan on addressing those skills gaps in interview and what steps have you taken to ensure that any perceived gaps are minimized? These are the basic starting points in your interview preparation.
- Research the company – you should know all the basics about what they do, when they were formed, who the directors are and how many employees they have. If you want to conduct really deep dive research, you could source their financial reports for the past two years and have the key figures to hand should you need them in interview. You can never be too knowledgeable about your next potential employer and your research alone will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job but also for the company.
- Research your interviewers – have a look at their LinkedIn profiles, what’s their background? Maybe you share a previous employer or have connections in common? With the three degrees of separation in Ireland, you’re bound to know someone in their circle, either professionally or socially. This can also transition seamlessly into the next step.
- Network current or past employees among your contacts – they’ll give a good insight into the company’s culture and values but they are also a fantastic resource for finding out the hidden information that you’ll never garner from a job spec. Bear in mind that not all feedback will be 100% positive but you should trust your own judgement when screening this information and be prepared to make your own mind up post interview.
- Listen to your recruiter – chances are we’ve previously worked with this client and are ideally placed to guide you through the process. Because of the size of the market, we speak with many companies and our coverage will extend far beyond the average reach of any candidate. Use our knowledge and leverage to your advantage and act on our suggestions to aid you in preparing for the interview.
- Prepare your questions – set out clearly what you need to know about the role, company or people involved in order to make an informed opinion on the opportunity. Have your questions listed in order of priority and don’t be afraid to interject in the interview with an appropriate question.
- Prepare a two minute elevator pitch about who you are, where you’ve come from and most importantly where you want to go next. Practice this pitch before you interview as it will sound a lot more polished and confident the more times you say it. The more articulate you come across during the interview, the higher the chances are that you’ll be successful.
- Visualise – see yourself working in that great job, what would you be doing, how would you be performing and what would your co-workers, boss and office look like? If you can think clearly, you’re more likely to articulate clearly why you’re a match for any job. For many great candidates it’s easy to eloquently and insightfully visualise how they would fit into the role if offered. If you start thinking in those terms before you’ve even met the interviewers you’ll be sending out all the right vibes at interview.
- Smile – it’s amazing the difference a small thing like a smile on a candidates face can make. It immediately warms up the atmosphere in the interview, no matter how nervous you might be and it invites the interviewer to get to know you. Cue your elevator pitch.
- Tell them you want the job. Before leaving the interview it is imperative that you make it absolutely clear to the employer that not only are you their candidate of choice but that you want this job. How disappointing would it be to hear back that you lost out because the other candidate “wanted it more”? Remember, enthusiasm sells and is contagious, so you must ooze enthusiasm for their role and company. It can also override any perceived lack of skills or qualifications deemed essential for the role.
To ensure that you’re interview technique is geared for success, why not contact Campbell Rochford today and seek the advice of our interview experts?
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Campbell Rochford – Turning Good to Great.