Attending an interview can be a daunting prospect, especially if it’s a job you really want.
It’s natural to feel nervous and most likely you’ll have doubts running through your mind, like what questions will I be asked? Will I be able to answer them? Who am I up against? And…will they like me?
But the good news is that in this scenario, a little preparation can really make all the difference. After 15+ years of interviewing candidates from a variety of backgrounds, levels and cultures here are my 5 top tips for landing the job!
1. Do your research
There is nothing worse than interviewing a candidate who has not taken the time to research your business. In today’s digital world, there is simply no excuse for this. So check the corporate website, the careers site, linkedIn, twitter, facebook, utube. Do your research!
2. Come prepared to be challenged
Any good manager will vary the pace of an interview. Usually it starts slow, giving you a chance to settle in, build your confidence and showcase your experience and skills. But at some point the pressure will and should increase. If you are applying for a role where the ability to demonstrate critical thinking, multi-task, cope with stress or persuasively communicate are required skills, then expect them to be tested! And not just by the questions that are asked, but by the structure and the pace of the interview. As part of your planning, look back at the job description and listed requirements and think about the questions or scenarios that might be used to uncover them.
But also remember it’s just an interview… so as much as possible try to relax and take it in your stride.
3. Don’t be afraid to challenge them back
So what do I mean by this? I’m not encouraging anyone to be dis-respectful to your interviewer or demonstrate an unreasonable dose of attitude, but I ‘LOVE’ a candidate that asks me difficult and challenging questions.
An interview should be a two-way decision making process. Do they like you? And do you like them? I know that at IQPC, we work hard to showcase our company culture through our career’s portal. We include employee profiles, event highlight videos and tons of photos of life behind our walls. And all this information can really help a candidate determine fit. But there’s nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth. By asking the tough questions you’ll not only find out more about the business, you’ll also reveal allot about the strength of the management team too!
How would you define the culture of this organization in 3 words? What is the mid-term growth plan and business strategy? What’s the biggest challenge the business is currently facing and how do you plan to overcome it? What differentiates you from your competitors?
Plus don’t forget ‘personal interest’ questions. What is the training structure for new starters? How do you recognize, support and progress talent? What global mobility options are available in the future? What is the work life balance like?
Asking good questions shows that you don’t just care about getting ‘any’ job, you care about getting ‘the right’ job and that should be a big attraction point for an employer.
4. Stay on point; a focused question requires a focused answer
Be relevant. Be concise. Make an impact.
5. Showcase who YOU are!
90% of recruitment books today advocate behavioral interviewing and the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.
Does this mean that results and experience no longer matter? No. not necessarily, but be aware that many organizations today, including IQPC, will choose to prioritize competencies and attitude over skills. If an organization has a learning culture then skills can easily be taught, but a person’s attitude, their beliefs and ethics, are much harder to influence.
So be proud of who you are and find ways to showcase it. If your interviewer doesn’t like what they see, that’s OK. In fact you should happily walk away, safe in the knowledge that the cultural fit was not right for you.