Tips for interview – professional roles
April 12, 2019
You have just received the call or message that you’ve been selected for interview! Panic sets in and you are not sure what to do next – take a deep breath, inhale, exhale…. and don’t worry, you have Hooray’s interview tips for professional roles to follow!
We have lots and lots of experience in placing good candidates with good clients and will support you all the way as you make your next career move.
To ensure you perform your best and have the best chance to succeed in securing the role, please see our hints and tips below but what we always like to emphasise for success is….preparation, preparation and some more preparation!
Before the interview
What does the company do?
- Look at their website and social media – What exactly do they do? What have they been up to lately? What charities or events are they involved in? Also research who will be interviewing you – if you can to find out more about them, it can be a conversation lubricant if you feel nervous. This is also useful for answering questions based around why you want to work for them, what you know about them and it can be a good basis for any questions to think of at the end of the interview. It may also give you a feel for their company culture and where you would fit in.
- Check the job description and make sure you know it really well – take a copy and make notes or take a notepad if it helps you to remember key points.
What can you add?
- Think about the job description and how your skills and abilities match what they are looking for and think of concrete examples of times that you have carried out the requirements they are looking for.
- Think about your strengths and weaknesses – try to think of how your strengths can benefit you in your potential new role and that you can confidently put them across. Regarding weaknesses, come up with a real weakness you have, but be sure that for weaknesses you explain how you manage or reduce the impact of your weaknesses; e.g. I have a poor memory but I make sure I am organised and make lots of lists which in fact makes me very productive.
During the interview
- Be confident – they have picked you out of multiple applicants and usually only see a handful of those so you should feel that you have earned a place at this interview.
- If you have prepared and arrived on time, you should feel quite calm and ready to be interviewed and if you feel nervous, don’t worry some nerves can be good and your interviewer will be aware that nerves can play their part.
- Greet everyone you meet with a smile or a handshake – these are your potential colleagues after all.
- Smile, nod and make eye contact while your interviewer is speaking, but if you feel it is too intense, you can look away temporarily but just be sure they are aware you are listening.
- Always be positive – if you had a bad experience with a previous employer, do not go into too much detail and try to describe it in a balanced and democratic way.
- Listen to the question that is actually being asked and respond accordingly – you cannot prepare for every interview question as some companies can have some odd ones, so there is always a chance you will have to think on your feet.
- If you are not sure about how to frame your examples of experience try the STAR method:
Situation: Give some context to the story you’re about to tell, outline where you were and why you were there.
Task: Describe what you were doing and if you faced any challenges whilst doing it.
Action: Then explain the actions you took to complete the task and how you tackled any challenges you faced.
Results: Finally, reveal the outcome, this should demonstrate your skills, what you achieved and also anything you learnt from the situation.
- Don’t be afraid to pause or take your time and also you can ask if a question can be asked at the end to allow you time to mull it over in the background – the interviewer will be glad you have thought about your answer.
- Towards the end you can try to sell yourself into the client – a good tip is to ask them if they have any concerns about you and if you can set their mind at ease – this will help you to make sure that you have given your all and you have made sure any niggling worries they have about taking you on (as hiring is a big investment) have been smoothed out.
- Let them know and make sure you have made it clear that you are still interested in the role – a good idea is to ask them at the end of the interview when you will hear back and thank them for seeing you.
After the interview
- Give feedback – if it is in the form of an email thanking them for their time or a phone call to the recruiter dealing with the vacancy – this is to ensure that they know you are consistent and keen.
- If you get it, congratulations! If not, better luck next time and don’t give up!
For more guidance and advice on how to prepare and ace your next job interview, give Verity a call on 01242 300228 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org