First thing first, Congratulations on getting selected and invited to an interview. This is your time to shine, and sell yourself to potentially your new employer. It’s also time to see if the company is definitely right for you. Remember, interview process is designed to work both ways. For the employer to know you a little bit more, and to see if you are the right person for the job, but also so you can find out if the company is right for you. Just because they have your dream job available at the moment it doesn’t mean the company culture will suit you. If you decide to take the next step, make sure is the right one. Otherwise you will find yourself in the same position as you’re now- looking for a new job!
After working for nearly 10 years as a line manager for various business, I have done fair share of interviews for different roles. I have also attended quiet few interviews myself over the years, and I have always got positive feedback from the recruiters and hiring managers. I guess I must be doing something right. I thought it will be useful to put a little guide of the “must follow steps” at any interview. So there it is:
Step 1 Do your research
Before you attend any interview, do your research about the company. Employers like to see that you have put an effort in preparation for your meeting. Many of them will ask you questions such as: What do you know about the company? Or Why do you want to work for Our company? Trust me, there is nothing more embarrassing than guessing, or even worse, silence!
Step 2 Look Presentable
I normally choose white blouse, or shirt and black pencil skirts, or dress for my interviews. I know, it’s a bit old-fashioned, but you don’t want them to concentrate their attention on your bright pink flowery top. You want to grab their attention with your knowledge, not your outfit. Make sure you clothes are ironed and shoes are clean. This might sounds like an obvious thing but trust me, over the years I have seen it all! If the company tells you to dress smart casual for your Interview always go more smart than casual.
Step 3 Don’t be late!
Its nothing worse than being late for your interview. Always leave yourself plenty of time to accommodate for traffic, or other any obstructions. It really doesn’t give great first impression if you are not on time. If you cant get to your interview at agreed hour, what are you going to be like, if you actually got the job?! It always looks good if you arrive 10-15 mins earlier for your meeting.
Step 4 Don’t stress and be yourself
Remember, they chose you among all of the other candidates that applied for this job. You must be doing something right. They clearly must have liked your CV if they selected you, so just take a chill pill. It will also show that you can cope under pressure. If you’re nervous, or stressed there is more of a chance for you to forget what you want to say, or say something stupid.
Step 5 Have few questions ready
Always have few questions ready for your new potential employer. You could ask them more about the role, if they haven’t covered it already. You could also ask them, what the company culture is like? Or what they enjoy most about working for the company?
Step 6 Sell yourself
This is your time to shine. Make the most of it. Talk about what you have done in the past to show of your skill set. Tell them about any success stories you might have. They might ask you about challenging situation from the past, so they can see what would you do in difficult circumstances. Be prepared for that. Always try to turn the negative into a positive.
Step 7 Show me the money, or not!
This is always the awkward part of the interview. If the hiring manager have not mentioned potential salary there is few options you could follow. You could ask them what sort to benefits package they offer to new employees? This won’t come across too harsh and will also cover any extras like additional holidays, private healthcare etc.
You can always ask what is the next stage of the process if you were successful in the round one. If they say there will potentially be second or third interview, leave the money talk until then.This shows you’re interested in the company/ role more that you’re in the salary (even if this isn’t the truth).
The good way to start talk about money is asking the interviewer if they are the right person to have this conversations with. Just because they conducting the process it doesn’t mean they have the authority to discuss your salary with you.
Step 8 Ask for feedback
After the interview is over don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. It’s better to do it right after as they might not necessarily remember all the details few days down the line. It will also show that you like feedback which is always welcome in any company.