Top 10 interview do's and don’ts
“If you were any brand, which would you be and why?”
“If you could speak to your future CEO right now, what would you ask them?”
Interviews can be stressful – not least because of questions such as these, which make them difficult to prepare for.
But there’s no need to be too anxious, with the right preparation. We asked one of our senior recruitment specialists, Tonia, to give us the lowdown on interview do’s and don’ts.
Follow these to get a step closer to your dream job:
Be Personal: You’re applying for your future career, so when replying to interview questions be sure to talk about what you did. Always be proud of your achievements.
Tailor to Suit: Tweak your resume to fit the role you’re applying for – change things around to make some things stand out if it suits the role better. This will also help you better focus on the task at hand during your interview.
Highlight Your Key Strengths: You’ve found the perfect job and you have all the relevant experience and skills - so focus on them. When asked about your experience, pick recent examples that best match what you’re applying for. Always give recruiters a reason to say “yes”.
Practise: The job description can help you anticipate the sorts of questions you may be asked at the interview. If the role requires speaking with customers from time to time, you may be asked how you turned an angry customer into an advocate in the past. Or if it’s a role in finance, you might be asked about your attitude towards repetitive tasks. Read the position description thoroughly and write a list of questions you think might be asked. Then get a friend to question you and give you feedback on your answers.
Show Your Passion: If you aren’t excited about the job you’re applying for, you probably shouldn’t be applying. Job competition is fierce. Show your passion by asking relevant questions. “What happens in a typical day? What’s the team like? Where do you see the team/ business going in five years?” Showing you’re ambitious and passionate is one sure fire way to stand out.
Apply For the Sake of Applying: If you’re applying for a job, you must really want it. Don’t just apply blindly; remember you need to show your passion.
Ignore Your Homework: A recruiter can tell if you know nothing about their business, so do as much research as you can. You’re trying to leave a lasting impression so knowing a few things about the business’s history, its CEO, and leading products and services goes a long way to putting you ahead of the pack.
Go Off Topic: Sometimes nerves can get to you, but recruiters allow for this. Just remember when responding that you need to stay on topic. Be direct, succinct and, when reflecting on your experiences, keep them recent. It’s OK to go back a few years but be mindful that you’re bringing up relevant experience.
Skimp on the Details: When giving examples in an interview, be prepared to provide the Context, the Actions you took, the Results, and the Evidence. It’s called the CARE method and it’s a great way for you to give the best info without going off topic.
Leave Without Asking Questions: Remember that bit about showing your enthusiasm? A great way to do this is by asking relevant questions. You’re looking to create a successful career and a good recruiter will be looking for that. The curious candidates stand out. Make sure you’re one of them.
And finally ...
Usually in an interview there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Some questions are designed to stump you, so the challenge isn’t what you answer; it’s how you answer. Part of what’s being tested is how you can think on your feet; how creative are you?
Interviews are just one step in the recruitment process, but these tips will put you in good stead to do the best you can.
Tonia says one of her favourite things about recruitment is speaking to someone who she knows will be great and seeing them become successful. With these tips, you may well be one of them.