Job interviews…love them or hate them…they need to be done

Most people have experienced the job interview from hell.  Something they want to put at the back of their minds, forget about indefinitely and only bring out at social occasions where war wounds are compared.

Well interviews shouldn’t be like that.

On both the interviewee’s and interviewer’s sides, the following should stand in equal measures –

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation
  • Time, respect and personalisation
  • Values and culture – not just skillset

Now, I could write this based on the perspective of the interviewer however, I’m not going to.  This is for you – you lovely proactive job seeker.  Let’s cover the three above areas together.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

All companies (and Interviewers) expect candidates to be well prepared.  They want to feel that you have really researched the business – and indeed the role – and are engaged in the possible offering. 

So check them out –

  • Company website and social media channels
  • Search for PR and news stories
  • Linkedin profiles of the individuals you will be meeting and others who would be part of the team
  • Anyone you know who has previously worked for them
  • Job description for the role

Preparation is also a fabulous way for you to also make sure the business and the role is right for you.  Have they similar values to yours?  Will you believe in their services or product?  Will they give you everything to ensure you feel fulfilled in your working days?  If not, don’t waste yours or the company’s time.  Drop them a line or give them a call to say ‘thank you, but no thank you’ and move on.

Time, respect and personalisation

I would expect that to any business who is interviewing you – time, respect and tailoring your responses – is really important.

From a time perspective, you need to ensure you demonstrate you have thought through all the options associated with the role.

  • How are you going to get to the interview (and to work on a daily basis, if successful)
  • How is travelling away going to fit in with your life, if a necessary as part of the position
  • If a presentation or any other pre-interview task is required – have you invested the time to put everything into it?
  • You’ve visited or sampled their product and know first-hand what it is all about

When it comes to respect, it’s all about how you engage with the brand and individual(s) interviewing you.

People are people – and people buy people – so how are you going to engage?  Remember… eye contact, the name of the people in front of you, greeting the receptionist (all Interviewers will ask Reception their thoughts on you!) and all your research.

Personalisation – this is all about making them aware that right now…right at this time…you only want the role with them.  No generalising comments, no irrelevant examples.  Keep it focused purely on your understanding of that company and the role.  If you were interviewing someone for the role – what would you want to hear?

Values and culture – not just skillset

Interviewers are not just looking to go through the job description ticking all the duties to say you have that experience – they are also looking at your ‘fit’.

More and more companies are assessing your values and behaviours on an equal par to you having the skillset and experience to fulfil the role.

Building a successful business is all about having the right people, with similar mind-sets and work ethics, to create a culture which encourages collaboration and an environment to thrive.

So remember, once you have completed your research (including the values of the business) to incorporate that into your examples.  For example –

Interviewer: ‘Please provide us with an example of when you have provided excellent customer service’.

You: ‘Well I can see from your values of ‘Partner with Passion’ that your business has very similar values to mine.  I believe customer service is about listening to the needs of the person I am engaging with and providing them with a service or solution that meets and exceeds their expectations.  I have done this previously by…’

So there you go…some food for thought on areas to consider before and during your interview.

I want leave you with two further pieces of wisdom –

  • Remember you are interviewing the business just as much as they are interviewing you. You need to make the decision that it’s right for you, equally to them deciding you are right for them
  • Enjoy it! It’s all about the experience!

For further support in your job search contact our candidate support team, you can also view current vacancies with our clients here.

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Sam Wall

Sam Wall

Founder and Director