by Sheba Karamat - 4th November 2013
Temps Career Advice
There is some basic information that will help you prepare for the interviews that your Recruitment Consultant has arranged for you. It is vital that you set aside some time to cover the topics listed below. Every element will enhance your chances of getting the role.
Research the company
While your consultant can give you information on the company, the role and the interview format to help you prepare, you’d be wise to do as much of your own research as possible. Company websites are a major source of information and can provide you with corporate history, press releases, downloadable reports and reviews. You can also visit the archive files of newspaper websites or search engines such as Google.
Make sure you know about:
Try to predict the questions you may be asked
If you have researched the company in sufficient depth, you should be able to answer most of the questions in this area. Any other questions are likely to be about you so you should revisit your CV at this point and think about the achievements you have detailed. It is likely that the interviewer will probe deeper into these achievements so make sure you have additional information about these on the tip of your tongue!
Be prepared to answer questions on:
It’s often a good idea to write all your thoughts and examples down on paper – this will help you clarify any grey areas and give you more confidence in preparing for the interview.
Attending the Interview
This is your chance to make a good impression. How you present yourself will have a big impact on the interviewer so don’t forget the basics: business-like attire, clean shoes, minimal jewellery and good personal hygiene.
Your behaviour will be analysed from the minute you walk in the building, so demonstrate an interest by reading company literature in the foyer, be friendly to the receptionist, offer a firm handshake and maintain regular eye contact. Always accept a drink – taking a sip can provide you with a little thinking time before you answer difficult questions.
Think about what you say
Always try to listen to the questions - it sounds obvious but candidates so often answer the question they wish had been asked. If you don’t understand the question, ask for it to be repeated and be honest if you truly don’t know the answer. Use every question to demonstrate your ability to do the job and make an extra effort never to criticise your previous employers, however bad you may feel about them.
Summarise your qualifications, career history and abilities, highlighting those relevant to the position.
The interviewer wants to ascertain whether the aspects you dislike in your current role are also present in the position in question. The best approach is to highlight an aspect of your current company which differs from the company you are talking to.
Never be negative about your current employer but demonstrate a desire to achieve other goals. It is best not to refer to salary as being a contributory factor unless you are being paid significantly less than the market rate.
Choose 3 or 4 strengths and provide relevant examples. Strengths to consider are ability to learn quickly, positive attitude, technical ability and a determination to succeed.
Try and pick one which isn’t particularly relevant for the position and could also be considered a strength, e.g. I am fairly demanding of my team but I am getting better at using the carrot and not the stick.
Other questions to be prepared for:
Questions you can ask
Always prepare several questions in case one or two of them get answered unintentionally in the interview prior to your opportunity to ‘ask any questions’. If this is the case, make sure that you don’t ask these questions as you will give the impression that you have not listened in the interview.
”You mentioned earlier that a new Marketing Director has been recently been appointed… how has this impacted on the rest of the team?”
“I notice that you have just opened a new office in Manchester, is this part of a wider expansion campaign?” or “I notice that you have recently become part of ABC Group, what impact will this have on the company going forward?”
Other questions you could ask:
Ask Questions that Display Your Enthusiasm, Willingness and Ability:
After each interview, try and obtain as much feedback as possible about your performance. Ask the interviewer how you performed and what how you could perform better in the future. Also what reservations they might have about your application and what impression you gave. At Opilio Recruitment, our consultants will always try to obtain as much feedback for you as possible. Keep a note of any feedback so that you can refer to it when preparing for future interviews.
A Successful Interview
If you have been successful in the interview process, you are likely to start feeling quite anxious in the weeks leading up to joining the new company. These feelings are quite normal as you naturally want to make a good impression and fit in with the team. The following tips should ensure that your first few weeks go according to plan:
An Unsuccessful Interview
If you are unsuccessful in the recruitment process, don’t take it personally and don’t dwell on it. The best thing to do is to send another application out straight away to keep the ball rolling.
However, depending on which stage of the process you were rejected, you should address:
The important thing is not to become too disheartened, but treat it as a learning curve. Make sure that you get as much feedback as possible from the client to understand where you may have gone wrong. Of course, your Opilio Recruitment consultant will always endeavour to obtain as much client feedback for you as possible. Always try to remain optimistic and focused on your career search as throughout the process your interview skills and techniques will only get better!
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