As an international recruitment company, we know a thing or two about interviews. We’ve seen some great interviews and some not so great, so we’ve put our heads together to come up with these key interview tips to help you on your way to your next career move.
Do your research. Nobody wants to find on their first day at a new job that the company they joined isn’t what they expected. You should first make sure that the role you’ve applied for is with a company that you would enjoy working with. Review sites are a great place to find out about a company’s culture – written by current and former employees and you can pick up information on the interview process, salaries and incentives that your future employer offers. Good companies will have a dedicated careers website with information about their company culture and the opportunities they offer. Some feature interviews with their teams that help you to get a better understanding of the day-to-day roles and the kinds of people you’ll be working with.
The second reason to research your potential employer is to show your interviewer that you have a genuine interest in their business and the job role. Many candidates apply for roles with multiple companies, some struggle to describe what the company they have applied for does, and what the job entails – this is a very quick way to lose the interest of your potential employer. Employers want to know that you want to work for them! Understand the business and understand what the job your applying for entails.
These days companies are generally more relaxed when it comes to dress-code, but don’t let that trick you into thinking you don’t need to make an effort for your interview. Your future employer will inform your of the dress code for your interview, but if they don’t – make sure you ask. In times of uncertainty, a suit will always be a safe bet. No one will punish you for being over-dressed, but looking scruffy is unlikely to do you any favours.
Most interviewers are happy for you to bring notes to an interview which are helpful when trying to remember particulars about the company, your CV or any key points and questions you might have. It’s best to keep them short and concise to prevent you from shuffling paper in your interview so that you can keep eye contact with your interviewers and not have your head buried in notes. It’s good practice to bring a copy of your CV, it’s likely your interviewer will ask you questions about it so make sure you’re familiar with what’s on it.
It goes without saying that being late for an interview isn’t going to help you make a good first impression. Allow yourself good-time to be ready and arrive ten minutes early so you can relax and mentally prepare yourself for the interview. The chances are your interview is booked into a dedicated time slot alongside other interviews that day, so there is no need to arrive extremely early.
Your interview is a two-way process, it’s as much about you finding out more about the company as it is the interviewer getting to know you. Asking good questions can help to show your interest in the role and business. It’s good practice to jot notes down while the interview is in progress and save your questions until the end in order to maintain the natural flow of the interview.
The final pitch
Close your interviews on a positive – this could be by summarising what makes you suitable for the role, addressing any questions you feel you could have answered better, or thanking your interviewer for their time. The right method will vary depending on the tone of the interview but will help you leave your interview on a high.