It's early in the New Year. You've decided now is the right time for a new role and as such you have made it to interview stage with a prospective employer. Everybody has had an interview before. There are those that go well, those that go badly and others we'd rather just not speak about.
But how do we create a scenario where we can improve our chances of creating a good impression and making the bad interview experiences a thing of the past? As Recruitment Consultants we have arranged hundreds of interviews and given advice to all our candidates attending them. We also give advice to our clients on how to interview. However, in this article we will be focusing on advice for candidates. Want to gain an advantage? Read on...
This may seem obvious. Well in some respects it is. But believe it or not it has been known for a recruiter not to tell a candidate where their interview is until last minute. Here at SG Financial Recruitment and Emmerson Kitney we believe that to be a terrible practice. We have the trust of our clients and vice versa so all candidates will be aware of where they are going and who will be interviewing them. If your recruiter is hiding this information from you, one wonders what else is being hidden.
As someone in your specialist field you may well have a knowledge of the company you are interviewing with. The difference comes in the depth of knowledge you can convey to the employer. When was the last time you actively searched out good news stories about a company? This means you can reference those events during the interview and show that your interest for the company goes above and beyond their current vacancy.
A quick search on Companies House will show you all of the key people within a business as well as their recent financial information. Use this information to work out the relevant people within the company to research. This is also a good source for questioning...something we will discuss shortly.
No, it's not a niche late 90's wrestling reference related to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson! However, he has offered a bit of sage advice with that catch phrase. Everybody in employment will have a job description but it is very rare that we will carry out every single one of those duties in a single day. So, carefully map out what it is that your role entails on a day to day basis. This helps to avoid giving a generic answer as it is likely the other people who interview on the same day will have similar job descriptions to yourselves. Set yourself apart by showing where you have added value to your current employer. A company is not employing you simply because they need an extra body, they are employing you so that you can add value to their bottom line. If you have ready to go evidence of this, it can be the difference between a "we'll call you soon" to "when can you start?".
We would always advise checking out the interview location beforehand. See how accessible it is for yourself and, if relevant, can you see yourself going to this location on a daily basis.
One of the main things to consider is commute time. Always try to do a dummy run the day before and try to hit the exact time of your interview. This gives a good idea of how long the commute takes at that time. If your commute is in a potentially busy location, you may also want to do a dummy run at your proposed working times. Nobody wants to get 2 months in and be put off by your commute times.
Other things that you may want to consider logistically include public transport timetables, parking, bike storage and security passes.
Now this element is on the recruiter. They should know exactly what the structure is of the interview. If the recruiter does not tell you what the structure is then just ask. If they can't tell you...well, then it's probably best to seek another recruiter.
Interview structures can, and will, vary. It can range from a simple informal coffee, competency-based questions and tasks, all the way through to an extended presentation.
No longer are interviews the daunting prospect of being interrogated by a panel of your prospective employers (Or at least they shouldn't be!). Interviews are a two-way process where an employer wants to hear your input and gather your perspective. It is also your chance to judge if this is the right place for you. No matter how much an employer wants you to work for them it is ultimately your decision, so the preparation of questions to see if the company is the right fit is essential.
Perhaps the most important question you can ask is one that ensures immediate feedback and I will tell you it for free (although donation are welcome) "Is there anything that would stop you employing me in this role?"
Your recruiter should have no problem giving you all of this advice, either face to face or over the phone. If you wish to get anymore advice, please seek the relevant person in our business below and call (01482) 975960 or send to an email address shown below;
Matt Scarr - Specialist in Accountancy Practice - Matthew@sgfr.co.uk
Georgia Would - Specialist in Industry Accountancy - Georgia@sgfr.co.uk
Joe Makin - Specialist in Engineering and Technical - Joe@emmersonkitney.co.uk
Leon Sewell - Specialist in Engineering and Technical - Leon@emmersonkitney.co.uk
Sam Horton - Specialist Recruiter in Sales/Marketing/IT - Sam@emmersonkitney.co.uk