Congratulations, you have made it to the next stage in your application – the interview. You have beaten all of the other candidates and most likely have a one in three chance of winning the job. You have no idea what the other candidates possess so… now it is yours to lose…
Ok, you have done something right in your written application, have the skills on paper to perform in the role, answered the right questions over the phone and have now been called to come in and meet your prospective new employer face to face. What now?
Generally when you are called for interview you may only have 24 hours or less to prepare for it so how do you prepare, and what are the main things that the interviewers are looking for?
When we interview a candidate on behalf of a client, we focus on the following aspects:
- Intention – why are you looking for work, why did you choose this role and what do you know about the company (if revealed), what would you like to gain from taking on this role?
- Skills and qualifications – we read about these on your resume and application letter or selection criteria, we now need for you to spell out what you do, how you have done it (examples) and the outcomes of applying these skills in the workplace
- Capacity to perform the role – do your examples and applied experience give us the confidence that you can perform in the role?
- Do we like you and could our client work with you? I know that this is a tough one to grasp but this is a major factor for us. So many jobs have been won or lost on this very question and it just doesn’t get the attention it deserves. All of the above mean nothing if you have the wrong attitude, show arrogance or overconfidence, or just have qualities that don’t fit with the culture of the organisation that we are recruiting for
How do you prepare?
Look back at the bullet points above and answer those questions. Look at your intentions, write out examples of how your work experiences meet the criteria and competencies of the role advertised and do you have examples that will draw a picture for the interviewer? Focus on what you have done over what you can do (we can all do things but not everyone has always done something – prove it). Lastly, get friends, family or those in your network to give feedback on how you actually come across. Be honest with yourself and tell them to be honest… you may be surprised at how you come across to other people and it’s just that nobody told you. If it is a bit unfavourable or, at the other end of the scale, doesn’t show any confidence, work on it.
Have appropriate clothes prepared, know where the interview actually is, have your mobile with you with the contact’s phone number (cars do break down, accidents do happen), and leave with enough time to get to the interview on time. All of these are “no-brainers” however, we have experienced these issues with candidates in the past. It is also a really good idea to bring your resume and application, some of the notes that you prepared about your application, a few questions jotted down about the role and a notepad and pen to write down some information. These last few things show interest in the role, a demonstration of good organisational skills and could work as ‘cheat sheets’ to look back on if you get stuck or nervous during the interview.
The rest is now in your hands… good luck!