With Valentine’s Day around the corner we thought it would be a great opportunity to help you find your passion for work again, and give you some of our best tips for that all-important interview.
Attending an interview is much like going on a first date. Your stomach is full of butterflies, and your head is swimming with the possibilities of where this meeting could lead. Will it be a match made in heaven, or will it end in disaster? The tips below could stand you in good stead for both your professional, and your personal life!
First impressions are crucial.
Just as you wouldn’t want to be late for a first date- it is important to arrive to an interview with plenty of time to spare. Even if your interview is being conducted online (as most are at the minute), it is good practice to be ready and in the ‘waiting room’ five minutes before the interview begins. This ensures you have no last-minute technology issues which cause you to be late, and lets the interview begin in a relaxed manner.
Dress for success.
Much like on a first date, what you wear to an interview does matter! Your wardrobe plays a vital role in the formation of first impressions and can reflect important aspects of your character. Similarly, clothing has been proven to impact your confidence, so there is definitely such a thing as ‘dressing for success’!
Google each other.
Just as you might research a potential partner (by going through old Facebook photos, or even finding them on LinkedIn), it is important to research a company and the hiring managers. A quick social media ‘stalk’ might tell you that your date is a cat-person (which could be a deal-breaker!) Similarly, googling a company’s website and researching their core values can teach you a lot about them, and give you a lot to talk about during the interview. Perhaps unlike with first dates, having researched the company will reflect positively on you, and will prove you are interested in the position- so show off your knowledge! As for first dates, it is probably best not to mention that Facebook photo album you saw from their family holiday to Turkey in 2009..
You would not want to go on a second date with someone who is miserable, so why would you want to invite that sort of person into your work environment? Radiating positivity will have a huge impact on the way interviewers perceive you, and how memorable you are. Additionally, as an interview is all about selling yourself, you want to focus on your positive qualities. Focus on ways you made a positive impression on someone, took the initiative, or went the extra mile, giving relevant examples where possible.
Honesty is the best policy.
If you were on a date with a football fanatic whilst knowing nothing about the subject yourself, you wouldn’t pretend to know all about the latest game (or maybe you would, but that façade wouldn’t last long!) It is similarly important not to lie during an interview. If the interviewer asks about a skill which you do not yet possess, let them know that you have limited experience in that area. You could also mention that you are a fast learner, and that topic would be something you would be enthusiastic to learn more about. There are many opportunities to learn on the job and this may be an option, however, it is also important to keep in mind that if the company culture and required skillset does not match your own then it might not be a perfect match. An interview is an opportunity for you both to get to know each other.
As with above, it is important for you to take the opportunity to get to know the company as much as they are getting to know you. What are their goals, and do they align with your own? What does their ideal candidate look like, and how well do you fit this description? Take the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the role in detail.
Wait for the call back.
After the first date, there is often an agonising waiting period for that all important call. It is the same with a job interview! In both cases we feel it is important to send a ‘follow up message’. This message gives you an opportunity to thank the interviewer for their time, to mention one or two points of conversation that really resonated with you, and to ensure the interviewers know that you are eagerly awaiting their decision. This confirms to the hiring company that you are still enthusiastic about the role. Sending a follow up email after an interview has been proven to improve the candidate’s chances of success.
We hope this blog has given you some useful tips on how to tackle your next interview, or helped you feel more relaxed about the whole process! We would love to hear from you about your interview experiences, and whether we missed any important or funny similarities.
If you are looking for a job, or would like to browse our current vacancies click here!