Interviews - The Basics
So you've got the interview for your dream job, you have the skills and experience so the interview should be easy right?!
As a recruiter specialising in manufacturing I know that skills and experience are not the only things an employer is looking for. They’ll also be thinking about their current structure and whether you, both as a person and an employee, will fit in well in the team and the company culture and ethics. If they don’t see you adapting to the culture of the organisation, it may not be the right role for you.
So have you got the skills and experience might be an obvious question, but a key one nevertheless. The interviewer has seen your CV and knows how long you've been working in a particular industry, but they want to hear it from you in your own words. They want to hear about your previous projects, tasks and duties, to fully understand your experience. So, be precise and to the point and make them feel confident that they are interviewing someone who clearly knows what they're talking about.
1. Dress smartly
If you’re not familiar with the company culture, visit their website or their offices during work hours to see how others dress. A warning however; even if they wear business casual, you should err on the side of caution for the interview – for men that means a jacket and tie; for women, that would mean a suit or dress. The key is to look professional.
2. Be yourself
It’s important to be honest during the interview and show the real you. Of course, you are trying to make an impression but avoid acting completely out of character as this will obviously be noticed if you do eventually get the job.
One of my good friends once interviewed for a role that she had 9 years of experience for and all the skills to match, during the interview for some strange reason she decided to put on a totally different, very posh accent. A couple of days later she was offered the role and started the following month. During the first 6 months with her new employer she continued to speak in the posh voice. I remember she would call me often to tell me how draining it was and that she didn't think she could keep it up for much longer and sure enough one day soon her posh voice slipped to her real, more cockney, one, her boss looked very confused... He was not impressed to say the least and said he probably wouldn't have offered her the role if he had known that she wasn't being genuine.
3. Research the company
You’ll be judged on your understanding of the company and interviewers will be able to tell pretty quickly whether you have done your research or not. This is why it’s important to look into the company culture, products/services and current events as much as possible, so you can answer questions on the company as best as you can.
4.Understand the job requirements
It’s important to study the job description – getting familiar with this information allows you to understand the fit between your own skills and the position. More importantly, you can then show the interviewer that you know the job you are interviewing for and demonstrate that you have the right skill set.
5. Prep, prep, prep!
Compose a list of questions about the company that demonstrate your interest in what is produced and how things work. Prepare a list of answers to the most frequently asked interview questions. For example: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Practice, practice, practice. Make certain your voice and body language don’t give away your anxiety. Also make sure you know how long it will take to get to your interview so that you arrive on time.
So my advice basically is to follow the steps above, DON'T do any of these things and you'll be great!