When searching for a job there are a number of factors to take into consideration concerning which process to follow. What are you looking for in your next role compared to your current job? What are the emotional factors driving you into looking for a new position? How are you communicating your experience and new found wants and needs to a recruitment consultant? Our job at Source is to help you organise your thoughts and come up with an effective game-plan. We want to know the reasons behind the move, negative and positive, as well as a list of the most important things for you regarding the move ahead. This helps us find you the ‘perfect role’ and ensure you are happy in your work.
Lets fast forward a bit. We have found the job you’ve been looking for. What’s more, they have a copy of your CV and they want to meet you! But just when you thought the hard part was over, you realise that in the interview you will have to make a bunch of strangers like you. Instantly an array of fears and nerves come bounding into your head and you freeze! But what you need to do is think and prepare. Here are some things to consider:
Why do they want to see me?
There is obviously something in your CV that they like. Try and identify what it is and then think of some specific examples of campaigns and clients that they can instantly assign to you in your new role. Also think about the profile on your CV – how can you show that person to the interviewer?
My experience to date?
Avoid babbling about growing up in a house in East London, losing your first tooth and when you found out Santa wasn’t real; think about experience that is RELEVANT! This would normally entail your most recent role and potentially another 1-2 roles before that. Be specific and to the point!
This isn’t obvious from a CV but do think about how you want to present yourself professionally whilst of course still keeping yourself ‘real’. Do some research into their environment and culture, the personality of your interviewee (don’t be shy asking your recruiter – they should know!) and also don’t forget to ask about the dress code! The difference between smart/casual and corporate is a biggie! Clients are quick to point out if you don’t fit in!
Why am I leaving?
Keep your thoughts on this professional. Prepare a relevant statement outlining your reasons – time to go, looking for a new challenge and wanting to grow etc. If it is an emotional move, try to explain it in a positive light. If this isn’t done correctly, the interviewer will notice and it could damage your chances.
What can I bring to the table?
So what can you bring? Is it your worldly charm in making creative’s work quicker? Is it the way you can interpret brief, present amazing creative concepts or produce effective budgets and timings? Or could it be the way you deal with challenging personalities? It is important that you can define a list of strengths and some honest weaknesses. You won’t need to regurgitate this list on the first question (be prepared for old school questions just in case!) but as the interviewer talks about the role, highlight relevant experiences to demonstrate your competency and challenges so they they know you’re a problem solver; explain how you dealt with challenges in previous roles and give examples of the solutions you put in place. This creates the impression that you will fit into your new role with ease.
What do you want to know about the company?
Make sure you prepare some interesting questions. Nothing is more frustrating to an interviewer than a candidate who shows no interest in the company or the role, so have a list of intelligent questions ready. Bring a notepad and pen – take note of what they are saying as it highlights your interest and keenness to know more. Know the company inside and out – research!
Be proud and passionate about what you do!
Some people find it difficult to portray their passion in an interview. However, I have found that when asked about the campaigns or projects of which they are most proud, or about their biggest achievements, candidates’ eyes brighten up, their backs straighten and without realising it they illuminate passion. It looks great and can be infectious! Agencies want passionate people – people who love what they do! And it shows the interviewer the length of your commitment and what you’ve had to overcome in your career so far.
Overall – if you want to nail the interview, you need to prepare, research and practice! Don’t be afraid to ask your recruitment consultant lots of questions. You should be confident in knowing that your consultant has told you everything you need to know. They should be 100% behind you. Their support combined with your own preparation should be a driving force to success.