For most people interviews are a rather stressful event. When meeting a potential employer or recruiter you only have 30 minutes, perhaps, up to one hour to make the best impression of yourself. Whilst it’s normal to be nervous, there are some general tips that would help you make the best of the opportunity.
Practice, practice, practice
As with most things in life, practice is key. The more interviews you do, the more comfortable you feel in that environment and the easier they become. If you’re a career contractor, you probably know what I’m talking about. Whilst they get easier with time, it’s still important to do some preparation beforehand – know the company, the role and if possible, know who the meeting is with.
As important as knowing about the company is knowing about yourself. What’s the story your CV tells? If someone asks about the moves you’ve made, are you able to answer in a consistent manner? You should also have a clear idea on what do you want out of your next role and why you are looking to move. My advice: be honest – prefabricated answers may not necessarily show interest in that job or let your potential employer know who you are as a person.
Tell a story
Given the limited time you have to make an impression, it’s best to have this prepared in advance so you can be providing concise answers. I’d suggest having three to four examples from previous roles that you can narrate end to end and you can use to answer most questions. Make sure you tailor them to the audience, and whilst there may always be some unexpected questions thrown at you, if you know enough about the role, you’ll be able to anticipate most of them.
Think of an interview like a first date rather than a test you can fail. The purpose is for both yourself and your future employer to evaluate if you could work together and how do you fit in that business. The best way to know this is by asking questions – what challenges they are facing, how is success defined in the role, what do they enjoy about working there, … This also shows genuine interest in the role and makes the conversation way more insightful to all participants.
As cliché as this sounds, don’t pretend you are someone you’re not, because if you end up getting that job, for how long do you think you can keep up with it? Also, would you enjoy working for a period of time in a place where you can’t be yourself? Be confident, show what you’ve done and remember to maintain eye contact with all the people in the room.
If the above fails and you don’t end up getting that dream job, don’t take it personally. There are a lot of factors that come to play, in many cases, out of your control – perhaps there’s someone else that had better experience, perhaps some of the key stakeholders didn’t necessarily feel a connection with you, or maybe after meeting you, they’re rethinking what the scope of that role is.
Whether you are looking for that next role, or you’re currently hiring – don’t hesitate to reach out to have a confidential discussion.
Project Resource Partners
Level 29, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
T +61 3 9949 8100 D +61 3 9949 8107