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Interviewing Techniques for Candidates

Best Practice Recruitment – Interviewing Techniques for Candidates

Once you have an interview for your dream role, how do you give yourself the best opportunity to be selected? Here’s how to get the best result on the day.

Be Prepared

On the role and organisation, do your research, understand the opportunity, the current size, news, market presence and growth potential for their brand. Also use sites such as Linked in, Google and Facebook to find out about the hiring manager and other employees and their backgrounds, so where there is common ground you are aware of it. Sort out suitable clothing the night before, iron shirts, polish shoes – don’t leave anything till the morning.

Arrive in Time

For a 9 am interview, arrive between 8.45 – 8.55 am, no earlier. If you arrive earlier walk around outside to clear your head and get some fresh air, or re-read the job specification etc. Always be friendly to the receptionists, ask them about their time there, and always accept a drink, as it can be thirsty work talking during an interview.

First Contact

Always give a firm handshake as you meet people as this will come across as confident and assured. Remember, with any interview or presentation make eye contact with your audience or interviewer. Nerves can make any candidate waffle and stare at their notes or the projector screen rather than relate to their audience or interviewer. Relax!!

Be Prepared to Meet Other Candidates

In many interviews or assessment days the all-day format is used and you will meet and interact with other candidates. Try not to let yourself be intimidated. Be open about your area of specialism when you talk to them – but not about what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Admit When you Don’t Know

If faced with a question that you are unsure of, admit it. Don’t try to bluff your way out of it or waffle. It is much more professional to admit you don’t know the answer, and your interviewers will respect you more for being honest. You can use a technique called the pendulum sell “ I can’t do that but can do this” or “I haven’t used that but have used this, which is similar”.

Discuss your Background Confidently

It is important to discuss your past, present and future plans confidently, and make sure you take time to explain them without rushing. Always think about relating them to the role you are interviewing for, and also pitch your specialist knowledge accordingly.

Show Your Management Style

For many roles you will have prepared some relevant responses about what you can offer in terms of management experience.  It is important to come across as a confident, enthusiastic manager. And remember not to be critical of your current or previous employers or their management styles.

Show Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is key – make sure you smile a lot! Because of nerves, some people can appear subdued at interview, whereas in fact they are just naturally quiet. Don’t let this be mistaken for lack of confidence or even being aloof, it is worth going that extra mile to show how enthusiastic you are about the job. Doing research is key to this, as is speaking to former employees or colleagues in the industry about the company if at all possible. Show you have researched something relevant to the company.

Be Friendly

It is easy to forget that above all, the interviewers will be looking for a human being who will fit into their department and be down-to-earth and approachable. Interviews are incredibly competitive, and all the candidates will be very highly qualified (if not over-qualified), so it is the personal touches that can make a real difference.

Finish on a Positive Note

Even if you feel the interview has gone badly, leave on a positive note. Thank the interviewer/s for their time and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Perhaps say that you have found the interview very challenging but rewarding. Giving a firm handshake now and looking the interviewers in the eye, will linger in their minds and will leave a better impression than slinking off with barely a word.

And if you want the job, tell them before you leave!!!

Looking forward to your next interview? Really want the job?

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About Simon Barlow

Simon Barlow
Simon Barlow works with clients to assist with recruitment needs, including clarification of role specifications, interview training, retention of staff and design and implementation of effective recruitment campaign processes and policies. Read more about Simon >>