Interview Preparation for the Busy Professional
Finding the time to prepare for your interview around an already busy schedule can seem like a daunting task. However, it is essential to ensure the time you’ve allocated for the interview itself, isn’t wasted. This is your chance to sell yourself and also find out if the company and role are right for you. Whether you haven’t interviewed for years or just last week, these preparation tips will ensure you get the most from your interview.
Work with your recruiter
This is a great way gain to real inside knowledge of the interview structure. Your recruiter will have worked with the client for a long period of time and likely will have had several interviews with the same person you are going to meet. This not only means they will have a good insight into what sort of questions and the format of the interview but also what the interviewer looks out for, what impresses them, what doesn’t and why people have been (un)successful in the past.
Secondly, they will also be able to prepare you on the individual, whether they interview in a direct style, formal or are more conversational, this will enable you to ready yourself in the best way. All this information would all have been gleaned from direct feedback from the client and candidates.
Research the organisation
A sure-fire way to appear disinterested in an interview is to not have researched the company. Of course, there will still be things you want to find out in the interview, but you should have developed enough of a knowledge to understand why potentially, you would want to work there.
47% of interviewers said that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company
The level of preparation and research you put into the interview will also demonstrate to the interviewer how you would approach working with one of their customers. They will associate poor interview preparation with poor client preparation.
Provide value-add examples
Most interviews will use competency-based questions which draw upon previous experience and will require anecdotal style answers. When answering competency-based questions there are a few key points to bear in mind;
- Don’t ramble: keep your answers concise and only include the key points. They don’t need to be walked through minute by minute
- Take credit: often people will fall into the habit of talking about ‘the team’ or ‘we’. The interviewer is interested in your contribution and results, don’t do yourself a disservice and attribute your wins to your team.
- Value add: when providing examples its vital that you talk about the right result and value add you provided. For example, “I successfully implemented a solution which improved efficiency at the customer by 50%” or “as a result of the efforts, we managed to win another major project, with the value of xxx, with that customer”. This not only shows the interviewer the value you could add to their team but will also demonstrate your business acumen and entrepreneurialism.
A great way to build credibility is to talk about the industry more widely, not just focusing on your work within your company. Discussing your thoughts on where and why the industry is going in the future, potential challenges or opportunities will demonstrate that you truly are an expert. These can also be great questions to put to the interviewer to see if your thoughts and ideas are similar.
Following these simple steps to prepare from your interview will help to ensure you give your best performance and increase your chances of progressing to the next stage. It is important to remember that the interview is an opportunity for you to also find out more about the role and the company. Ensure that your questions have been answered and any concerns addressed too.