A traditional face to face interview is the most trusted means of recruitment. A recruiter sees the interview as a way to get to know the shortlisted candidate, as well as the candidate’s suitability better, in order to gauge if the candidate is the right fit for the job. It’s important to remember that in a set period of time the recruiters are trying to assess whether you would be a good fit for their organisation. Would you add value to their organisation and particularly the role that is being applied for? These are the questions that the interviews have. Hence these are the questions that you need to ensure have a positive answer for when it comes to their views on you. Please see below our top tips for face to face interview from recruiter’s perspective.
There are many articles and points of guidance available for you to review to prepare for an interview. This article will look to help you as an interview candidate to consider the perspective of an interviewer. We hope this would help you to better prepare yourselves for the interview.
You already know that you need to be in an appropriate formal attire and to arrive early. You must ensure that you have planned your journey and contingency routes well in advance.
That is why we are going to focus more on how you can add value to the organisation that you are applying for. In addition, we’ll focus on how the organisation would benefit from having you as part of its teams.
The factors noted below are based on wider reading conducted for this area and more importantly feedback from active recruiters.
Before the Interview: The Job Role and how you satisfy all requirements
Firstly, have you thoroughly reviewed the job description and expected requirements of the role? Think about evidence or examples you can provide or demonstrate that you have or can meet all the of the requirements of the role. You must ensure that you demonstrate proficiency in all of the ‘essential’ requirements. If you cannot fully satisfy all of the ‘desirable’ requirements try to consider how you could develop going forward. This would ensure that you are competently addressing all of the desired requirements.
When looking through the job description think about the questions that you could be asked. If you are struggling to think of questions then put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. If you were hiring for this role what questions would you have asked candidates to ensure that they were right for this role? Ensure that you can answer those questions with appropriate examples from your professional and academic experience. This would demonstrate your abilities in the right context.
Context and application would be the next key points of consideration. Try to ensure that you focus your answers on the requirements of the job. Apply your examples in the context of demonstrating your proficiency with the required skillsets of this role. Being able to refer to the job description and have sufficient knowledge of it is the key. It enables you to apply your answers in the context of the job requirements. This is something that is sure to impress interviewers.
Preparation yields progress and this should be your mantra before any interview.
Conduct Appropriate Background Research on the Organisation
Organisations would want employees that take pride in the organisation. A candidate, who at the very least understands the organisation, it’s relevant industry, its core values as well as key factors that could affect the organisation. As a prospective employee, it would be good if these were factors that you could be aware of. In addition, where applicable bring them into your discussions over the course of your interview.
Keep up to date with current affairs
Don’t forget to conduct an appropriate background research on the company. This would allow you to have a good idea about its relevant industry. Try to ensure that you keep yourself up to date with factors that can affect the relevant industry, the organisation and its competitors. This would give you further factors that you can discuss important the interview so that you can further demonstrate your diligence. In addition, this gives you something that you can ‘go to’ if you have moments where answers are not flowing as smoothly.
Many questions that interviews ask which are not pre-planned or normally linked to the candidate’s CV
During the Interview: Be Professional and Composed while demonstrating Enthusiasm
Ensure that you are polite, courteous and professional from the beginning. Remain polite with all of the staff and stakeholders that you interact with all the way through to the point of you leaving. The staff communicate with each other and you want to ensure that they all have a positive view of you.
Remain composed over the course of the interview. Take time to consider your answers. Do not be afraid to ask for clarity or context from questions asked or ask to have them repeated if you did not hear them clearly. A moment of clarity for you would work wonders for your answers. Stay professional and composed but do not act robotic.
Be yourself as you want them to hire you for you! Show the enthusiasm of your capabilities and desire for the role where possible.
It is normally advised to take notes over the course of the interview. If you feel comfortable doing so but be sure to be courteous and ask for permission to do so.
Maintain appropriate eye contact with the interviewer(s). Remember to show eye contact and engagement with the entire panel rather than just one person if there are multiple interviews. It is common for someone to mainly look at a person that asked them a question. It’s important to remember that the entire panel is assessing you when there are multiple interviewers.
Try to maintain a professional posture. Ensure that you are sitting up appropriately but avoid being too rigid, while you want to be professional you also need to be comfortable.
Try not to overcomplicate it. When you start becoming overly concerned about what your hands are doing, how your feet are poised etc. you distract your attention away from what is important; your answers and how you present yourself.
Ensure that answers address the questions asked of you
One of the most frustrating aspects for interviewers are candidates who simply do not answer the questions asked of them. The question has been asked for a reason; it is to assess your suitability. Therefore too not answer a question clearly means that you are not demonstrating your suitability. It is okay to go off on the occasional tangent. If the tangent’s purpose is to further demonstrate your suitability for the overall job role. However, to just go off topic without context wastes time for the interviews and impedes your opportunity of obtaining the job. You can always ask for clarity and context during the interview but you cannot redeem yourself once the interview concludes. If you are in doubt ask to reconfirm the question (but try not to make a habit of this as you should be actively listening).
After the Interview: Reflection and Feedback
One of the best ways to aid your own development is Reflection. Honestly consider what went well from the interview and what could have been improved from your view. Think about how you can maintain those positive aspects in your next interview. Should you have or need one, and how can you develop of those areas noted for development. Where possible ask for feedback, whether or not you are successful. As quoted by many greats including Boris Becker, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Take on board the feedback constructively. If there were areas of strength noted, take pride in those strengths and think about how you could maintain and enhance them. If there are areas of development noted, take them on board, do not be defensive about them, think about how these factors could be improved.
Good Luck in your interview preparations and conduct!