With so many candidates competing for opportunities in today’s market getting to an interview is a really significant step. At this point you know you are in the frame, that your CV, Linked In Profile and telephone or on-line interview have worked and that you are under serious consideration.
Now is not the time to take your foot off the gas, it is the time to really dig deep and prepare fully.
While many of us are used to going into meetings in our day to day roles, meeting people at all levels of business, and communicating what we do professionally, the dynamic of a face to face interview is very different.
We are not selling our company or our products, we are trying to sell ourselves, and very often that requires an entirely different mind-set.
Preparation is key
There are no excuses today for not knowing just about everything about the company you are going to be interviewed by – the internet and social media have enabled that.
About the company
- Check out the company’s website including any latest news or announcements
- Check out their company pages on other platforms such as Linked In or Facebook
- Talk to any contacts who you know who might know something about the company
- Fully understand your own CV and think about what an interviewer might ask you
- Prepare for the question ‘tell me about yourself’
- Be clear and concise in your thinking, this is one question which often trips people up, generally people don’t like talking about themselves, but in this instance this is exactly what you need to do. Whatever you say, do so confidently.
- Prepare for the question ‘why do you want to work for our company?’
Be clear and honest about why you want to work for the company, aim to convince them that it really is the company you want to work for rather than that you are just looking for a career move or a change of working environment.
- Prepare for the question ‘why do you think you would be good in the role?’
Take time to think this through, read the job profile and explain the strengths that you can bring to that profile, your experience and your skills.
- Prepare for the question ‘what are your weaknesses?’
Be honest – we all have them. Think about what your weaknesses are, whether they are going to impact the role you are going for and explain what you are doing to address them.
- Prepare for the question ‘what was your biggest achievement in your last role?’
Think this through carefully, this is your chance to really sell yourself, and if the achievement involved overcoming a particular difficulty or challenge then make sure that comes out in your answer. Don’t undersell yourself, this is a key question in the interview process.
Prepare your questions well in advance of your interview, don’t ad-lib. Your interviewer will expect questions, and remember this is a two-way process, they have to sell themselves to you too. Asking questions shows you have thought about it, and that you are genuinely interested in the position.
Be clear about what you want as a package, be honest in terms of your current arrangements. Be prepared to challenge your interviewer if they don’t meet with your expectations, and don’t undersell yourself. Equally, don’t try to oversell yourself.
Before all this ensure the following
- That you know where the interview venue is well in advance
- You know how to get there
- You know how long it will take you to get there – NEVER be late
- Make sure you turn your phone off
Note – Remember ‘Enthusiasm sells’, so be upbeat and confident in your responses.