Interview outcomes can depend on many factors, some beyond your control, and others where you can clearly effect and manage with thought, planning, and self-confidence. In the following articles over our website, we will explore and suggest ways to improve how you can influence, control and project yourself better in future interviews, hopefully, to achieve the outcomes you are looking for.
Let us all face it, we have all been at this juncture sometime in our careers. That moment of realisation, after receiving the communication that you now have a pending interview, of butterflies in the stomach regarding the process, lying ahead in front of you, and what next?
There is an old adage that I subscribe to, and that is “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. This can be applied to more areas of your life than just what we are discussing here today.
However, in the context of this blog, when addressing what to do next when the pending interview process looms – it is very poignant, and to the point.
So the interview time and date is confirmed, what should you focus on to plan?
- Research the company you are presenting at, look beyond the Home pages of websites and delve deeper with your research methods and find some “nuggets” or “carrots” of information that will show in the process discussions ahead, that you are more diligent, creative, and insightful than others in the same process.
- Look at media reports, feedback websites on the company, look at Companies House, and see how well financially the company has performed, cash flow, assets, etc. for example.
- If you have access to “LinkedIn”, “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “Instagram”, or similar apps, then look up the people or panel of people that you are due to meet at the interview, get a sense of “who” they are, and whether there are some areas where you would have common ground, or use what you have learned to be an “icebreaker” in the coming interview. This will aid with the rapport between you and the interviewers, which is also another fundamental building block to elevating yourself in front of the decision-makers in the interview process.
- Research the companies products and services – again to understand “what they offer”, and h ow your role would dovetail in with these.
- Plan what you will wear on the day, and ensure it is in keeping with the ethos of those whom you will meet, and the company would expect from a future employee. Ensure your clothes are well pressed/ironed, shoes are also polished! (It is amazing how many employers will check out your footwear on arrival).
- Make sure your hair, including those with facial hair, is well-groomed, washed, and styled ahead of the meeting. This also extends to any nail varnish, which should be as muted as possible.
- Any facial or ear piercings should be kept to a bare minimum, and if you are wearing a set of earrings these should a small stud or small design. Any large personal tattoos may also need to be covered, depending on the prospective employer.
- If you are a smoker or vaper, then do not smoke on the way to the interview, nor in the clothes, you are going to wear prior to the interview taking place. This can be off-putting to prospective employers.
- Look at how you will get there, plan the journey times, and ensure there is parking nearby or on-site if planning to drive. Ensure on the day before ahead of the interview you check to ensure there are no travel disruptions planned or to be avoided so that these do not add a delay to your route, or add unwanted stresses.
- How to answer the questions they might ask You – strategise pre-thought answers what they might cover with you about you career to date, experiences, and relevancy to why you have applied for the role.
- Plan your questions, you will ask the interviewers – never go without any, as this is a big NO-NO to any interviewer.
- Bring your personality! Do not fall into being a robot, let the interviewers “see who you are”. They want to see the real you, not an approximation. Again this will assist with rapport building.
- Finally, make sure you take with you on the day, Formal ID, or
copies of qualifications, certificates of achievements, and a copy of your CV. Again this will illustrate positive qualities about yourself to the interviewers.
I hope some of these points are helpful, and whilst some will be self-evident, it is amazing how many people do not even do the basics at the interview from our experiences, both as employers ourselves, as well as recruiters.
Look out for our future blogs, and if you feel you need some support, advice or guidance on planning for your next career move, please do not hesitate to get in touch.