Many candidates find interviews to be the most nerve-wracking aspect of the job hunting process. This short document is designed to help you prepare effectively, gives tips on how to make a great first impression, and will ensure you can approach the process full of confidence and confidence is crucial to interviewing well.
It seems obvious, but the importance of preparing for the interview should not be underestimated. Review your CV to ensure you are comfortable talking through everything on it. Memorise the specifications of the role and note down how you fit with the job description. Research the firm that you are interviewing with so you know the company’s values, are familiar with any recent developments (check the news section), what services they offer as well as key clients and cases they are involved with. If you know who will be interviewing you research them online. This level of preparation will leave you feeling more confident when you go into the interview.
Recruitment consultants will often know details about the interview process, the role and the interviewers that aren’t down on paper or in the emails. Speak to your consultant so you are briefed before the interview.
Take a look at your profile on social media websites. Make sure that if your Facebook profile is publicly visible there is nothing embarrassing on it- if not adjust your privacy settings. Review your twitter profile and delete anything inappropriate. Finally, make sure you can explain any discrepancies between your LinkedIn profile and your CV.
Make eye contact with your interviewer and greet them with a smile and firm handshake. During the first 30 seconds the interviewer will be subconsciously making decisions about whether they like you or not and whether you will fit into the team.
Everybody has weaknesses and the ability to recognise them is important. Before the interview, consider your strengths and weaknesses so you are able to talk about them confidently. An interviewer will appreciate your candour so long as whatever you disclose can be easily remedied. This is one of the most common interview questions so be prepared.
Interviewing is a two way process, providing an opportunity for you to sound out whether the role and the organisation are right for you as much as you being right for them. Make sure you have a number of questions prepared to ask the interviewer at the end of interview. These question should at the very least demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the organisation and its work and ideally will clarify any queries or concerns you have.
At the end of the interview you need to know where you stand. Before you leave you should finish with a good close, a firm handshake and ask what the next steps are.
The recruitment consultant will call you following the interview to get your feedback on how it went. If you have any concerns about the culture of the organisation or the role itself, then this is a good time to raise it as they will be able to advise on these. They will also want to know about any elements of the interview where you feel you did not perform to your potential so they can sound out the interviewer and mitigate accordingly.
YOUR INTERVIEW CHECKLIST
Have you reviewed your:
- LinkedIn profile
- Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles
- Greatest professional achievements
- Strengths and weaknesses
- What is the company’s profile? Values, locations, services
- Do you know about any major announcements they have made recently
- Have you researched the interviewers?
- Who are the firm’s main clients?
- Have they been involved in many high profile cases?
- Have you planned your route to the interview?