Top 10 interview tips from experienced recruiters
Here at Corriculo we have been working in the recruitment industry for over 35 years and during this time we have managed candidates through a lot of interviews. Here are our top 10 tips for interview success;
- Make sure you arrive on time. There is a balance here; you should never be even a minute late for an interview but arriving too early can count against you as well. Interviewers are busy people and have booked a certain time slot for a reason. If you are more than 5 minutes early wait outside in the car or go for a walk around the block. This can be a great time to re-read your CV and calm any last minute nerves.
- Read the job spec The best way to “sell” yourself at interview is to highlight how your experience matches what they are looking for and that you can solve a problem they have. The job spec is invaluable for telling you which skills and experiences to focus on.
- Research the company These days there is no excuse for not researching the company. As a bare minimum you should have a look at their website and make sure you know what they do. Ideally you should take this to the next level as well; have a look at any news about them, what are their competitors up to, what is happening in their market place? If you can reference these things at interview it will show that you have done your homework.
- Research the hiring manager / interviewers LinkedIn is a great source of information. As soon as you have the name of the person who is interviewing you, check out their LinkedIn profile. You can then reference this in the interview and if there are any commonalities between them and yourself, casually mention it. It is also worth doing a wider internet search about the person; what articles have they published online etc. These two points not only show your interest in the role, but also help you to get to know more about the company and people you might be working with.
- Prepare questions to ask The purpose of an interview is for you to ensure you want the role as much as it is for them to decide if they want to hire you. At the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Saying “no” or that they’ve covered everything may well count against you. You should have prepared a range of questions so that, no matter what, you will have at least one question to ask. Questions can cover any aspect of the company, role or team but shouldn’t be about remuneration or benefits, particularly at first interview stage.
- Prepare your answers to common questions The chances are that you will be asked why you are looking to leave your current role, what you are looking for in your next role, what your strengths and weaknesses are and why you think you will be right for this role. You will also probably be asked competency based questions where you have to give examples of when you have done something. Prepare a list of how you will answer these questions. These questions are so common, you will be expected to answer them easily.
- Get your clothes ready in advance If your suit needs to be dry cleaned then make sure it is done well in advance. Always dress smartly and appropriately; too much make-up or fragrance, casual clothes etc will count against you. If you get your outfit ready at least the night before then it is one less thing to worry about on the day
- Thank them for their time and express an interest in the job The hiring manager has taken time out of their day to meet with you, so it is only polite to thank them for their time. If you are interested in the role, tell them. Enthusiasm is infectious and being enthusiastic might help your chances of success
- Never lie If you don’t feel that you quite have the experience for the role, you might be tempted to exaggerate or even tell an outright lie. Never do this. It is highly likely that at some stage you will be caught out and people have even been sent to prison for lying on their application. Let the hiring manager be the judge of wither you can grow into the role or not.
- Don’t forget to smile and maintain eye contact Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. If you are being interviewed by more than one person, look at them when beginning your answer but don’t forget to look at everyone else as well.
Victoria Watkins is Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as a Recruitment Consultant for 5 years she moved to Office Management for an IT consultancy 6 years ago. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+
Photo credit – OliverTacke on Flickr