Interviewing for a new position can be a daunting process therefore, I have created 8 top tips to ensure you put your best foot forward.
1. Know your CV: Be able to defend all aspects of your CV. Map out on a blank piece of paper what you want to say, think back on your college subjects and projects (if a recent enough graduate), map out your projects, what was your role in them, any key achievements. Be able to talk in a detailed way about the technologies that you used in every role, every project and any key achievements regarding any new technologies you introduced to the team successfully.
2. Dissect the job spec: Have lots of relevant examples from your own experience that match all areas of the spec. Research any technologies that you are not familiar with and be able to talk about your interest in learning them, which technologies they might be similar to or where you have learned new tech/platforms/systems very quickly in previous roles!
3. Research the company: Spend time researching the company website, read the overview of the company on the spec if there is one, learn off a few key facts about the company products, number of employees, head office location and anything else relevant. When asked be able to show that you have researched and are aware of who they are, what they do and your genuine interest in working for the company long term!
4. Prepare yourself: Work out a few days in advance of the interview what suit you are going to wear, make sure it is dry cleaned, you have a pressed shirt/dress/top etc. Best not to turn up in jeans & a hoodie- believe me it has happened! Allow plenty of time to get ready on the day.
5. Prepare your mind: A lot of people focus on the things that they don’t have from a spec. The key to a great interview is be yourself, build a rapport with your interviewers and focus on the positives that you bring to the role and to the organisation! Don’t be afraid to talk positively about yourself and what sets you apart as a candidate/prospective employee. Take some time out each day in the days before the interview to put yourself in a positive frame of mind!
6. Prepare the route: Drive to the location of the interview the weekend before. Make sure you know exactly which building its located in and time the route allowing an extra half hour- forty five minutes for traffic or other unexpected eventualities. Try to drop by a nearby coffee shop to freshen up and have a caffeine hit before hand.
7. Some handy “don’ts”
- Don’t bring up salary- this is a major no no.
- Don’t arrive late -barring any emergencies
- Don’t arrive in jeans & a hoody- dress professionally to create a great first impression!
- Don’t use bad language in the interview- keep it professional
- Don’t speak negatively about any previous employers- try to give your explanation’s around leaving a role in positive language.
8. Nail it: The connection you build with the interviewers is even more important than the technical skill set. We have had lots of companies create roles for candidates based on their being a “great fit” for their company. This won’t happen in every case but it definitely goes a long way. It also makes for an opportunity to perhaps be suitable for the “next role” when it comes up and this often comes to fruition a few weeks later.
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