Many of us embark on a job search by sending out our CV’s to jobs or even meeting with potential recruitment agencies. Then when we get our first interview request all previous interview experience can desert us and we find ourselves at a loose end when it comes to preparation!
To make the experience a little less stressful, here’s my ‘Guide to Successfully Navigating the Interview Process’.
Preparation Is Key
You have the time and date, so it’s time to get organised….
The job spec:
If you have access to the job specification, write down all your relevant skills and experience in the skills/experience section. This way you’ll be able to tailor any examples you give to the job, making you more attractive to the employer. They are looking for you to demonstrate you competency in specific areas, so don’t waffle or go off subject.
If you don’t have a job spec – don’t panic! The consultant who booked your interview will be able to give you enough of an overview to prepare your examples and relevant experiences.
Research the company:
Every agency has a website which can provide you with good information. Go the extra mile; take a look at LinkedIn so you can get a bit more background on the person interviewing you. Understanding more about them, perhaps seeing a picture of them before hand can often make you feel less nervous. NMA is also a great source of relevant industry information. See if you can find any interesting news relating to the agency you are meeting with, comments on recent success stories, new hires etc.
Use your recruitment consultancy if you are being represented by one; any decent consultant should be able to support you with all the above if you are meeting with their clients!
Have a plan:
Approach the interview knowing what you want to get out of it. Think about any questions you may have concerning the job/agency/team. Think about how you want to close the interview and what you would like to feel coming out of it. Visualise this in advance and it will make it much easier to steer the interview in the right direction on the day.
Know your CV inside out:
There is nothing worse than someone stumbling through dates / job roles / experience. This is your work history. Own It!
Think about your outfit in advance:
Agency dress code can vary and is often a real grey area. Some are casual, others less so. Find out in advance and plan accordingly! Nothing worse than turning up really smart and the person you are meeting is in jeans. At the other end of the spectrum don’t go OTT on the casual front, scruffy jeans and smelly trainers are not really acceptable …
In my experience, following these simple rules can make all the difference in an interview. Just remember, preparation is key!
Hopefully you found this advice helpful. Good luck with your interview!