The final hurdle!! The Interview!! THE INTERVIEW!!! Nervous???
Key: Be prepared!
If you have ever dealt with a recruitment agency before; you will know that they will try to give you as much information for your interview as possible. After taking in all of the information they give you, it’s up to you to do the rest.
Your last and final step is to absolutely blow their mind with your knowledge and expertise!
So, a couple of steps before you walk through those doors…
1. Research their website & additional information online.
If they have a website, which majority of companies do nowadays then make sure that you’re doing your research. Check out their blogs, news articles, contacts, and the ‘about’ section of their website. From this what you’re looking to pick up is:
• How long has the company been established?
• What is the ethos of the company?
• How successful are they?
• Are they privately or publicly owned?
• What has their growth pattern been like?
• How many different branches are there?
• What size is the company?
• General reputation?
• Any major achievements?
The internet is a wonderful world of information when it comes to researching companies. The bigger they are the more information there is online so really doing your research is an easy step to achieve the best outcome.
• Check the Companies Registration Office to see how long the company is in business – this way you can mention it in conversation to show you have done your homework on them
• Get the insight of who’s who and what’s what from the recruitment agency looking after the vacancy
• Look for newspaper articles in the local newspaper archives online
• Check to see whether the company is heavily involved in any community work, volunteering or charities
• Look on LinkedIn so you know who to expect and what to expect when you walk in the door (10 minutes early, of course)
• Check out their social media platforms – so whether that means LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
• Check out this link for Glassdoor, where you can type in some of the larger company names and get an insight into what questions previous people have been asked in interview: https://www.glassdoor.ie/index.htm
2. Check out their biggest competitors so you can let them know why YOU are the missing piece of this enormous puzzle
If you have done your research on their website it should be simple enough to find out who their main rivals are in the industry.
It’s often worthwhile doing your research on their marketing material and content to give ideas and approach the company with the knowledge of what they need you to bring to the table.
Be sure to talk about the company you’re interviewing for and let them know why you’re keen on working with them but, also what you can bring that your competitors don’t have.
3. Have Questions Prepared!
The biggest reason that I have found personally that people don’t get the job is because they don’t understand the role enough (due to lack of research) and also that they don’t seem interested.
The general statement is that “people love to talk about themselves” which is great when you’re really trying to ‘sell yourself’ to a prospective employer but, just remember it’s always good to let them know that you’re keen on learning more about their company too.
Just make sure whatever you’re asking them hasn’t already been answered during the interview as it shows a lack of attention
Some of our favourite questions are:
• What are the characteristics of employees that excel in this position or similar positions?
• What are the projected achievements for the following year for the successful candidate?
• What is the structure of the team and the company in general?
• How is employee performance evaluated? How often is it evaluated?
• Do you have any reservations about my application? (this gives you an opportunity to reassure the client if there are any doubts in their mind)
Some of the questions we don’t recommend asking in a first-round interview are:
• Salary, Hours of work, Flexi-Time?
• Could this role be part-time?
• Is there a possibility of working from home?
• Why did the last person leave?
These are the kind of questions you should find out the answers to from the agency dealing with the role – It’s in an agencies best interest to find out these details for you and sometimes asking these kind of questions in an interview can seem like you’re interested for the wrong reasons or can leave a bad taste in clients mouths.
4. Be Question-Ready
So, this is the main part of your interview – you can do all the research in the world but, if you can’t answer some of the easier questions then you will be hard-pressed to answer the more difficult ones.
After speaking with the recruitment consultant and picking their brains for information don’t forget to ask people you know… If you know anyone who had been for interview with the company before or currently working within the company – ask them for tips.
Prepare a list of questions they will most likely ask you for your interview and practice your answers. The key is NOT to learn your answers word-for-word. The key is to make you more fluent in discussing that particular skill set, capability, etc. Remember that if they ask you something you’re unsure of, bring it back to something you do KNOW.
Eg. How do you find the current economic climate?
“Reviewing an article recently, I had noted that Ireland remains the fastest growing economy in the EU. That being said, I have noticed your growth over the last number of years – You have recently taken on _ many staff and I noticed you have developed a new team of _ which is very impressive.”
At this point if you’re unsure of what to say next, don’t stop yourself asking questions about what the strategy is going forward.
Some of the more common / basic questions that interviewers may ask are as follows:
• What do you know about the company?
• Why should we employ you?
• How would others describe you?
• Why this job and this company?
• What can you bring to this role?
• Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• How do you handle stressful situations?
• How do you take direction and criticism?
• Do you work better alone or on a team?
And then of course you have competency based questions which could be:
• Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer
• Tell me about a time when you made a bad decision
• Tell me about a time when you showed great loyalty
For more information or to discuss any specific positions don’t hesitate to get in contact.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0567786631 | www.optimizerecruitment.ie