A strategic career move is something you are committed to. Your resume is updated summarising you’re past achievements, key features and the benefits to a new employer and you have identified your goals and aspirations in a new career. What can you do to further prepare yourself for the interview process and increase your chances of an offer?
Human Resources Professionals and Hiring Managers appreciate candidates who do their homework prior to the interview. Company’s websites contain a wealth of information, hinge points for conversations, interest areas to spark questions and recent information on the company. Doing the research before the interview is a big part of the process. A simple rule is to triple, as a minimum, the time spent researching the company, history, future, news, structure and role, and preparing for the interview than you would expect the actual interview to take.
- To help candidates at interview stage we list below some helpful advice.
- Arrive early, at least 30 minutes in case of transport delays and explore the surroundings, have a sit down, compose and relax.
- Enter the potential employer’s offices about 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled interview time.
- Make sure your appearance is clean, professional and neat.
- Some candidates find it easy to practice the route beforehand – to know how long it takes to get there.
- Have an idea of the expected duration of the interview – keep time free after the interview in case it lasts longer and to de-brief with the TRSP consultant.
- Have readily to hand references and contact information for them.
- Take a pen and paper with your pre-written questions from your research and make notes.
- Take a few copies of your resume.
- Visit the corporate website on the day of the interview for new roles, news stories and press releases.
- Be able to communicate confidently why you would want to join a particular company.
- Explore beforehand how your skills, experiences, training and education can be employed and add value to the position and company.
- Ask the TRSP Consultant what they think the client might ask, what they are looking for in you.
- Think of both questions and your answers so you can adequately portray your experiences and skills and their relevance to them.
- Have factual specific answers ready as to how you have overcome situations, added value and obtained results
- Most interviewers are looking for a STAR which stands for S= Situation, T= Task, A = the Action you took, R = the Results – have examples ready.
- Gauge the interviewer’s motivations for joining the company and what keeps them there.
- What are their timescales and next steps?
- Offer a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.
- Be truthful! Don’t rush to simply say the right thing, be honest.
- Listen, take notes and don’t be afraid to ask a question.
- Post interview, call your TRSP Consultant for a de-brief and follow up.
- Let them know your honest opinion of the interview, the people and your intentions and your motivation to continue in the process.
- It is important to thank and follow-up with the people you met. A quick email is sufficient.
Remember you are on show, you should demonstrate honesty, enthusiasm, integrity, reliability, confidence, drive, energy and motivation.
Your communication skills will be tested; rehearsing how you sell yourself beforehand can be useful
If transport delays or unforeseen circumstances occur – always contact your consultant or a colleague of theirs and explain the situation as quickly as possible.
The interview is your opportunity to showcase your talent, skills, achievements, goals, aspirations and ability. This is your stage, your chance to shine.
Relax and be confident. GOOD LUCK!
One of the keys to having a successful, productive interview is Preparation . It is vital in turning a one-sided interview into an opportunity for you to show what you could be capable of.
How you answer questions, when you arrive, knowledge and research about the company and a good understanding of the role and key requirements is essential but some people forget to say HOW their ability, experience and achievements meet the role requirements.
The following checklist is not meant as the definitive guide but hopefully will help you think of ways to differentiate yourself, show your fit with the role, company, culture and ethos and hopefully make you ask more questions of your TRSP consultant so that all your questions can be pre-resolved leaving the interview itself free of “discovery” and more about your suitability for the role and client.
- You should ask for confirmation including, date, time, address, and initial details the people that you will be meeting.
- An idea of the interview format e.g. will it be a 1-2-1, or a panel interview.
- Is it formal, informal, onsite offsite?
- Be at least 10-15 minutes early. Always plan travel arrangements a few days in advance and allow plenty of extra time for potential delays – expect them.
- Try a dry-run if the location is local. Alternatively, know the route you will be travelling.
- Take extra copies of your CV./ resume, certificates, references etc
- Clients have websites for a reason – Research the company history, management, press releases, services / products, other roles and background via their website.
- Write down your TRSP consultant’s number and the client’s number in case you have to ask for a delay.
- If anything comes up – CALL your consultant ASAP.
- Take writing materials and TAKE NOTES during the interview.
- Practice key interview questions and answers with another person.
- Dress smart and professionally, give firm handshakes, maintain eye contact, be interested, show enthusiasm.
Always call the consultant after the interview and give full feedback.