Before we get into it, keep in mind that we’ll always advise candidates to do a few of these things, but not every single one for every single interview. Every recruitment process is different, so take what applies to you each time – and good luck!
We talked about this in a previous blog, but it’s so important it’s worth reiterating. Being prepared with background information about the company shows that you are invested in the opportunity, and are genuinely interested in them and the role, not just the remuneration.
If you are applying directly, researching the company is also a great way of coming up with relevant questions that you are actually interested in knowing the answers to. If you’re not sure how many teams there are, how the communication structures work or how your role will be managed, that’s a great starting point for a meaningful discussion.
No matter if the interview is face-to-face or video, it always pays to present yourself to the best of your ability, a big part of which is your outfit choice. Dress to suit the company you are applying to. Some interviews will require a shirt and suit, others will be more smart-casual; be sure to find out as much as you can about the company’s culture before the interview so you can get this right.
One of the great things about video interviewing is that you can have notes on your desk. So, write down questions you don’t want to forget to ask, key skills you want to put an emphasis on, what you found out when you did your research about the company, etc.
If you are working with a Recruitment Consultant, they will most likely have some pointers about the interview process, so don’t forget to ask them about it and make a note. You can speak to your Consultant about what kind of questions you are thinking of asking, as they may have additional insights they can share to help you stand out from other applicants and get the most out of your interview.
Following on from this, we want to add:
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, as we all know, so help yourself, print your CV and keep it on the desk in front of you. Maybe you’ll have a mind blank or maybe the interviewer will ask you a specific question about something you listed within your CV… whatever it is, by having your CV nearby you’ll have some easy backup to boost your confidence and keep you on track.
If the interview is face-to-face, take your CV with you. Even if you don’t need to get it out, being prepared and being able to present a physical copy to the interviewer if they weren’t able to get hold of one will only boost your credibility. If you don’t need it this time, you’ll always have it for the next one!
If your interview is virtual, test, test and test again!
Ask a friend to video call you so you can check that your camera is working properly, the video is good quality, and the sound is clean and with as little echo as possible. You never know what problems you might encounter, so make sure you do this at least a day before the interview, rather than an hour before when it will probably be too late! Give yourself plenty of time to fix any issues, and to let your interviewer know if there are any adjustments you might need.
Video interviews are the norm now, and we think will continue to play a big party even when the pandemic ends, so it’s important to find a place in your home where you can guarantee three key things:
It’s absolutely key to highlight the projects that make you the best candidate for the role you are applying to, rather than just talking as much as possible about every aspect of your experience in the hopes of not missing anything.
When the interviewer is asking you about your work experience, find a way to bring the conversation round to highlight the key aspects that make you qualified for the role. Don’t by any means avoid questions that you don’t think are relevant, but be sure to focus your answers as best you can on your strongest skills, your most innovative projects and your best character traits. As with any interview, read the room. Expand as much as you need to in order to get your point across, then stop before you go into “waffle” mode!
And make sure you don’t shy away from talking about your failed projects and what you’ve learned from them – that’s just as important as highlighting your successes.