First of all congratulations on securing a job interview! You have been invited in by your potential future employer as they have been impressed by your credentials. You should take pride in the fact that you have proved your worth and remember that an interview is a two-way process. This is your chance to find out if the employer and the role is deserving of your abilities, skills, and qualifications.
The secret to delivering the perfect interview is effective planning. An interview is really a chance for you to sell yourself as the best candidate for any given role. In order to secure the perfect position you will be competing against other people and you need to do two things to secure a position:
The first step is to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. You need to find out about who the best candidate to them will be. From a company’s perspective the best candidate is the one who not only has the right skills and qualifications, but the one that fits their overall commercial goals and objectives, their progression routes and their staff development schemes. They will, therefore, be interested in your aspirations, and personality as well as your skills and qualifications.
You need to establish before you walk into the interview room what the definition of the best candidate is and then highlight your attributes in relation to this. The secret to preparing for interviews is to be company and position specific. In order to find out these details, you should research before the interview:
At your interview you only get one chance to make a good first impression. On the day, make sure you know who you are meeting (and their job title) and the journey length so that you can arrive 15 minutes early. Make sure that you take along to the interview all the research that you have completed, 2 copies of your CV, Photo identification (Passport or Driving Licence).
When you arrive (15 minutes early) at the company’s premises remember to be polite to everyone that you meet.
Remember that it is human nature that if you make a good first impression the interviewer will want to give you a job! If you instantly impress the person that you meet they will view all of your answers with a positive mindset. A confident introduction with eye contact and firm handshake will set you in good stead.
At the start of the interview it is important to ask the interviewer what they are looking for from the interview. You need to do this as when you have their definition of the best candidate for the job, you know what key strength to sell for each question that you are asked. If you are asked to describe yourself, as this is a common early question, turn the question around and ask them what specifically they would like to know. This ensures that you will give the answer the interviewer wants to hear and not waffle.
The interview style typically used is a competency approach (also known as a behavioural or situational interview). This interview format is an attempt to establish key competency levels in different areas that will be relevant to the job post.
Key competences that interviewers are interested in are as follows:
When answering a competency-based question you need to be very specific and back up your answers with real life examples of things that have actually happened. The interviewer will be keen to hear about the examples that you provide and will probably ask 3 or 4 questions about the situation. Make sure that you remember your example situations vividly, as the interviewer might require in depth information.
Throughout the interview maintain professionalism. Don’t put down any current or previous employers and make sure that reasons for leaving jobs are positive. Don’t forget to ask your pre-prepared questions when you are prompted in the interview. They show that you are keen, serious about your career and well researched.
At the end of the interview, if you are keen on a position then you should tell the interviewer. Ask them if they have any doubts about you and then make sure you dispel the doubts by selling your relevant strength. Finally, ask what the next stage in the process will be and thank the interview for their time. At the end of the interview it is good to drop in a compliment for the interviewer and let them see how keen you are moving forwards.
Immediately after the interview, please call us here at Luton Bennett as we will need to go over your feedback from the interview. Our clients are keen to gather this information and the sooner that you call us the sooner we can give you the news from their perspective!
It is also good practice to send a letter addressed to the interviewer thanking them for their time and expressing your continued interest in the role. Luton Bennett can advise on the content when such time arises.