Interviews, whatever their format be it online or face-to-face are still a critical part of the hiring process and provide an opportunity for both businesses and candidates to assess suitability and gain valuable insight into a role. Often candidates forget that interviews are a two-way street and its as much an opportunity for you as it is for the employer.
Below are some top tips from recruitment consultant, Lauren Chapman, on how to excel in an interview, combat those interview nerves and ensure you are as prepared as you can be – so that you perform to the best of your ability and secure the role you want.
It’s so important to do your research on the business before your interview, this will not only help you to get an understanding of their goals and culture but will enable you to demonstrate an interest in the business. The below are some great places to start:
Their market, customers, and clients
Key individuals within the business
Their service or product
Factors affecting their industry/ marketplace/ opportunities / risks
Relevant new articles / talking points
Take time to study the job description for the role you are interviewing for and cross reference it against your experience. Experience is the biggest talking point of the interview. Look back at your CV and prepare examples where you have gone above and beyond the job spec and made a real contribution to the business, also think about development points and where might your skills be lacking or need expanding and present this information in a positive light by explaining the steps you plan to take to improve in this area. By being open and demonstrating your willingness to learn, it shows the employer that you have the right attitude to pick things up quickly and work hard.
Also ensure you prepare talking points for each part of the job specification and show examples of previous duties that match.
Dressing appropriately for interview can help you make a strong first impressions by demonstrating your professionalism and preparedness. If possible, ask your recruitment consultant the office dress code for the business you are interviewing for prior to your interview. A general rule of thumb would be smart / casual attire as it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!!
Asking relevant questions is a great way to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm. This is also your opportunity to draw out the information you want to know about the business and the role, so it’s recommended to prepare multiple questions beforehand.
Practice your diplomatic response. Your recruitment consultant will know where you stand on money, but if you get put on the spot, default to them and say you’re interviewing in the ‘mid thirty thousand pound range’ for example.
While technology has introduced new tools like video interviews and online assessments, the face-to-face or virtual interview remains a valuable and comprehensive method for employers to evaluate candidates thoroughly. It combines technical evaluation, interpersonal skills assessment, and a sense of cultural fit, contributing to a more holistic hiring decision.
For more information on preparing for an interview please contact Lauren.