Interviews, for most are a dreaded process, but they can be made easier. Having been a Recruitment Manager for approximately 3 years before that I was an Office Manager and I still remember what it is like to see both sides of this process. Admittedly I was the interview prep queen, biased and self-diagnosed of course and I have listed a few tips below that I look for when interviewing candidates and some tips that might just make the process a little easier for you as a candidate.
Interview week: Seek every bit of information you can find about the company you are interviewing with including location of the office, parking options, travel times in peak periods and of course alternate routes for road closures. Research the company values, read all their social media pages, reviews, what their loyal customers have to say about them, if they are local to you maybe even ask around to see what their reputation is like by word of mouth.
Make sure you know as much about the role as they have provided you. If you’ve been given a brief take the time to read it and make notes. Write down questions for the interviewers as remember it is a two-way street, so you need to be comfortable and ask everything in the interview process that you need.
Interview day: Wear professional attire. Tip – use their company website pictures to find the vibe of the attire beforehand so you are not overdressed or underdressed. Call the office and confirm the interview time with the company and from an interviewer point of view this can be very appealing knowing that someone took the time to confirm the interview and it also shows great time management skills.
When you arrive at the building making sure you have allowed enough time to park and get out of your car, without rushing. I cannot tell you the amount of times I can see the sweat on faces arriving on the dot of the interview with the excuse ‘I couldn’t find a park’.
When you arrive at reception, make sure you are very forthcoming, speak loud enough for people to hear you and confidently. Ensure you treat the receptionist as you would want to be treated yourself and don’t forget your manners. They generally have other work to do and seating 10+ interviews per day might not be high on their list of tasks. Keep in mind a potential employer may go to reception and ask the team member if anyone stood out. Don’t you want to be the receptionist’s pick?
Finally, after a week-long wait and preparation your name is called to go into the conference room and you are ready to be asked a lot of questions and many that you will not see coming! Again, make sure you are confident, assertive and speaking at a sound level. Ensure you are listening to all the questions asked and answering them accordingly.
Personally, when I am the interviewer if a candidate asks me questions in return I find that they seem more interested in the role and what we have to offer. This is a positive tick in my book. The last thing an interviewer wants is to be talking to themselves and even worse having someone nodding in front of them. Make sure you are asking all the questions you need for the position being offered so you know the full expectation if you are successful in obtaining the role.
Don’t be afraid to tell the company how proud and excited you would be to represent them either. They want people who are going to be loud and proud advocates for the company, not those who just want a pay cheque every week. When your interview ends, it is courteous to thank the interviewers for their time in both reviewing your application and the interview itself. They might have seen many applications and even though it was necessary it is always great to feel like your work was appreciated by someone.
And lastly no matter the result if you walk out of the interview happy with how prepared you were, even if you aren’t successful you will know that you put your best foot forward. You are also welcome to ask for feedback if you are not successful and there is an opportunity for that to be given to help you in the future – remember there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism.
The above method should apply to all positions that you interview for whether it be casual, permanent, or a temporary period. Every employer wants to add that sparkle to their team and showing that you are prepared and ready could be the sparkle they were looking for.
Ruby Nicolia – Recruitment Manager – Real Strategix