Interview Advice

There is a plethora of advice online for those preparing for a job interview, whether it’s about how to talk about your weaknesses or what constitutes a good hand shake. Here we will be covering the key points you need to remember; we have also shared a couple of tips which you may not have previously considered.

Know your own story – If there is one piece of advice we would like to impart to all prospective candidates, it’s to know your professional story. This doesn’t just mean remembering your chronological job history or various job titles; it’s about being able to recall and describe episodes in your career in a concise and compelling manner. There is no-one more qualified than YOU when it comes to sharing what it is YOU do well and to highlight your professional triumphs! 

Know the company – Do your research! The number one negative comment HR Professionals raise about interviewee’s is ’They didn’t know what our company does!’ It may seem like a glaringly obvious issue to overlook when preparing for an interview – however countless candidates make this mistake. Look online for information about your potential employers – the company website is a good place to start and you may find some useful information on relevant industry sites. If you will be interviewing with a major corporation, sites such as Bloomberg and Yahoo finance can also give you a useful overview. 

Know your interviewer – If you will be interviewing directly with the hiring manager, it can be useful to look on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn or Xing to see if they have a biography online. ’Putting a face’ to the interviewing manager’s name can help settle pre-interview nerves – it is also useful to develop an understanding about the type of person your potential employer likes to hire. Occasionally people list a few personal interests on these biographies. If you share a common interest and an appropriate opportunity arises to mention your hobbies this connection may help strengthen your rapport with the hiring manager.

Immediate impact –The saying ‘dress for success’ is never more appropriate than when discussing the job interview scenario. The rule of thumb with interviews is it’s always better to be too smartly dressed rather than being too casual. However in the modern commercial world many companies are moving away from the traditional dark suit and tie to more casual work attire. If you have any doubts about how to dress for your particular interview please speak with your Hagen consultant who will give you the guidance you need. 

TIP – here is a great video about using POWER POSES to get in the right mind set before your interview.

http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Timing really is everything – The best way create an initial bad impression is to show up late for your interview; it will likely be considered disrespectful or as a sign that your ill prepared. If at all possible, when you learn of the interview venue, visit it a day or two prior to your interview taking note of travel times, car parking etc. It is best to turn up to your interview with 10-15 minutes to spare. This will give you a chance to compose your thoughts and to use the rest room to practice you Power Poses (see above) 

The coffee question – When asked if you would like to have coffee or tea, politely ask for water. Controlling a hot cup of coffee can be distracting when you are trying to answer challenging questions – it will also cause bad breath and will make your nerves even worse!

Conversation not interrogation  – Remember an interview shouldn’t be a one way conversation, prepare a few intelligent questions to ask the interviewer when you have the opportunity – here is a link to a good article from Forbes magazine which covers this subject in some detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/07/05/30-questions-you-should-and-shouldnt-ask-in-a-job-interview/

Remember if you need any further advice or guidance about the interview process we are here to help!