Getting to the interview stage of your dream job is a fantastic accomplishment in itself, particularly given the stiff competition within the job market during such an unsettling year. In our latest blog from ORB managing director Stewart Olsen, we share valuable advice for ensuring your interview process is as seamless as possible, so your talent shines brightly and lands you the job.
Refresh your CV memory
During the interview, you will likely be asked about your employment history as the interviewer has your CV to hand, so make sure you’ve refreshed your memory about your career journey this far. Great things to remember are dates of employment, figures or achievements which will be interesting talking points and help interviewers gain a picture of who you are. A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to shining head and shoulders above other candidates.
Research the company
It goes without saying that your interest in the business you have applied to work for needs to come across in your interview, particularly as competition might be fierce for the role. You’re likely to be asked “What do you know about us?” By having an answer already in mind following a little research, you’ll be ahead of the game.
You can even open up the conversation by asking questions on some of the research you have done. Things to consider when researching a business could be:
- Any news articles or blogs they have published recently (online or paper based)
- Any awards or achievements they have been recognised for
- How the business is performing in the market or against competitors
- Any charity work they are involved in
- Who the key managers are in the business
- Any performance figures of the business
- What products or services they offer
Dress for your best performance
Wearing something that makes you feel confident, calm and collected can really help boost your mood before an interview. There is no such thing as being too smart for the interview process and it will help employers understand that you take the same care and attention in your career. Employers expect good hygiene and that you are presentable so that you fit right into the company.
Plan your route and get there on time
Be sure to take time to plan your journey to the interview location in advance, considering transport options and alternative routes if you encounter traffic. It can be a great idea to do a practice run beforehand, but checking Google Maps is also worthwhile to review your route. Aim to get there 10-15 minutes before your interview time so there’s no rush.
Run through the job description and highlight any key points for the role you are interviewing for. Have a think about previous roles in your career and how the experience you gained links into this position. It’s worth calling to mind specific situations that show how you have overcome obstacles and challenges that could demonstrate relevant problem-solving skills. Also, it’s an idea to consider what you learnt from those experiences that encouraged you to grow personally and professionally.
Types of questions you might get asked are why you want to work for the company, what makes you different, what interests you in the job and where you want to be in a few year’s time.
Rehearsing your answers out loud before the interview gives you a chance to refine and ensure your answers are concise. If you’re delivering a presentation for your interview, practice this ahead of time in front of a friend or family member. Constructive feedback is also helpful for this too!
Don’t forget that interviews are also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the company to help you understand more about what they require and also demonstrate your interest in the role. Things you might want to ask are how do you feel my personality would fit into the team here? Do you offer or support further training and development for staff? Are there any other departments I would collaborate with regularly? What are the key challenges of this role?
Remember that interviewers are looking to learn more about you and are interested in you as a person - they are only human! With all the right preparation, your skills, experience and talent will be clear for them to see. It’s important to be yourself, don’t be afraid to speak about your achievements and be open. The right job is waiting for you.