Congratulations! You’ve got the interview! Now is your chance to make to most of this opportunity. An interview is your chance to:
- Make a good impression – he time to sell yourself
- Show off your achievements and show you are the best person for the job
- Sell yourself
- Detail your background
- Find out lots more about the opportunity, where it may lead you etc.
- Find out more about what is happening in your market and sector
- Decide if you like the company, job and people
These are very important aspects but never forget an interview is an opportunity to achieve so much more:
- Get a good idea of what the role involves
- Gain an understanding of the company – culture, future plans, history, staff turnover etc.
- Assess your career progression opportunities
- See how you get on with your potential new boss
- Network – this is a networking opening – getting to know someone in your sector and find out who else they know
- Gather market information – how are they finding the current market? Transactional activity? Active sectors? Slow sectors?
- Find out everything you need to know to decide if it is the right opportunity for YOU or not
Key things you need to consider to ensure you do to make sure you ace your interview are:
- Prepare thoroughly for the meeting – research the business, your contact and the role – LinkedIn and the company’s web site are great places to start
- Compile a list of questions you want to ask at the interview – you can then refer to this list at the interview. There is nothing worse than having a blank moment and having no questions! Questions show genuine interest. Ask about the individual (their background, what they like/dislike etc.), the company and their current structure, culture as well as future plans, and the job itself – future prospects, why it is available etc.
- Compile a list of sales points you want to make. For example, bring out your relevant experience, particular achievements, recent deals worked on similar to theirs so that you can show you did your research
- You can always refer to these lists during your interview – it really shows your interest and preparation
- Plan your route to find them and get there 15 minutes early so that you are not rushing
- Take your business card so that you can leave it with them
- Take any other relevant information to leave with them. For example, a deal list, a list of clients or an example of a pitch you have prepared
- Dress business smart – be very professionally presented – polished shoes etc. First impressions count and even if their work placed is casual dress it will still impress if you make an effort for the interview
- Shake their hand firmly and look them in the eye.
- Be prepared for small talk – for example, lovely offices, how long have you been based here?
- Body language – lean forward, maintain eye contact and look engaged and interested. Leaning back and looking around will make you seem shifty and disinterested
- Relax and let the interview flow. Enjoy yourself and never forget an interview is a two-way process – you need to like them as much as they need to like you!
- Always thank them for their time at the end of the interview and ask them if there is a timeframe and what is the next stage of the process?
- If it’s true, tell them how interested you are in the opportunity and that you would really like to meet them again
- Ask them directly if they have any worries or reservations about you and your suitability for the role
- Ask them for a business card so that you have their contact details and can then you can e-mail them after the meeting to thank them for their time, reiterate your interest in the role and send anything else you would like to
Above all prepare and be yourself as that is key is to securing a job that is right for you and you will enjoy and excel at. If you are feeling nervous, I would suggest running through a mock interview with a friend. If you are working with a recruitment consultant, then ensure that they prepare you fully – they will have a lot of value to add.
If you would like some tailored advice and guidance to help prepare you for an interview or a complex application process please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are offering a free half an hour with our qualified and experienced careers advisor who has over 20 years’ experience in recruitment and has extensive experience of preparing for interview processes. This is an excellent opportunity to benefit from some professional and targeted guidance.
For more tips to help you in the current uncertain recruitment market, please follow Alan Mitchell on LinkedIn.