Getting offered a job comes down, in a large part, to how you perform in an interview. Normally you will get 2 interviews, but sometimes all can be decided in the first meeting and other times you might be invited back to meet more and more people. Either way, often your future depends on something you don't actually practice that often, often one misstep can be the difference between getting the job of your dreams...or not.
Therefore an essential part of the recruiters job is to try and get that individual as prepared as possible for the interview so here are a few basics that I would always talk through with an individual before they go into an interview to get them ready.
- Be on time! look at the location, plan the journey, leave with half an hour (longer if you can) more time than you actually need to get there. You can always sit in the car if you are early but nothing starts an interview off worse than being late.
- Do some research. If you don't have time to do masses then as a bare minimum know what the business does, what stories have been in the headlines recently etc It's worth looking up your interviewer on linked in as well - you never know, you may have worked somewhere together previously or gone to the same school. It can all help to make the conversation flow a little easier.
- Know why you are there! Review the job spec, read through every bullet point and think about where you have already done that in your career - refresh your mind as to the story you can tell - even write it down so that it becomes even clearer in your mind for when you need it.
- Re read your own CV - it is so off putting when someone cannot talk through their own career history or what they are telling you does not match what is on the CV - dates, companies, chronology it all adds to the first impression.
- Dress for the occasion. Unless it is a known fact that they want you to dress casually, always wear business attire. Remember it is not just about how the interviewer views you but also how every individual who catches a glimpse at the offices views it.
- Prepare some Questions. Nothing says I am interested in you, your company and this job like a few well thought through questions. Try and make them more personal or at least displaying interest in the individual as well as technical. For example " what made you decide to join the company?" or "what do you think is the best thing about working here?" can really open up the conversation and personalise the experience for the interviewer as well as get some some really crucial info for yourself.
- Finally, and this is probably the hardest bit, relax and be yourself. People hire people for who they are just as much as a skill set that can do the job. There has to be a connection that will stand the test of time. Don't be someone who you aren't just to get the job because you will get found out sooner or later. Better to let people see the real you and decide to hire you based on that.
And that's my lot, the rest is just getting in front of the person and having a conversation. If there are things that I have missed out which you think a consultant should do to prepare a person for interview then please share them.