You have written your stand out resume and now it’s interview time! My one biggest tip when it comes to an interview, is that there is no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to preparation. I learn everything I can about the company, the position I am applying for and those interviewing me, so I have a competitive advantage over the other candidates.
Before your interview: Leading up to your interview you should be continually preparing. I will research the company and look at their last annual report to see their core values, mission statement and what the company’s drivers have been that financial period. With this information you can associate yourself with these drivers throughout your interview and align yourself with the core values of their brand.
My second point of action is LinkedIn. You should already know who is going to be interviewing you so make sure you are well prepared by knowing as much about your interviewers as you can. Using LinkedIn can give you information regarding companies you may have in common, courses you both may have studied or if your lives have crossed paths in some way. Subtly bringing up these shared interests in your interview can create a bond and shows you are able to engage in a conversation with new people.
At your interview: First impressions definitely count, so make sure you are looking presentable and professional. It doesn’t matter what position you are looking to fill, from your very first job all the way to CEO, you can never go wrong with black slacks or pencil skirt with a crisp white button up (my favourite interview outfits will be posted soon if you need inspiration).
It is not only what you wear, but how you hold yourself. A potential employer wants to meet someone positive and engaging who is excited to take on a new role, with determination to succeed. These attributes can easily be portrayed in an interview by sitting up straight, not fidgeting, look your interviewer in the eyes during the interview and never look at your phone or check the time! That interview should be the most important thing in your life at that point in time.
I once had an employer who said if he saw someone sitting in the waiting room playing on their phone, he would already disregard that person as a viable candidate. It is much better to look at some of their marketing collateral that may be in the waiting area, look over your resume or simply sit and wait.
After your interview: I believe it is good practice to reach out post interview. Following up with an email to thank them for their time and reinforce how you would be a great fit for the role and their company, is a great way to ensure the interviewer remembers you. Do not be afraid to continue following up as well. Quite often things can come up in a company, which leaves hiring a new employee on the back burner. Prompting with a friendly email or phone call every few weeks will keep you at the forefront of their minds and gives the impression of professionalism and being able to follow a task through.
I have many other tips for when you are in an interview, however, I will save it for a different post. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me! Good Luck for your future interviews
Kind regards, Kate The Corporate Life