You’ve got the interview, now what?
An interview is like an audition, and it’s important to give the interviewer what they want in the time available.
It’s an investment of time and energy on both sides. If the discussion doesn’t lead to being considered for the position advertised, other opportunities may be shared with you.
Sometimes a recruiter may invite you for a ‘general’ discussion. As you won’t have a potential job to target, you are selling your expertise, experience, the value you offer an employer and your preferred job options during that time. These meetings are more like networking conversations, so tap into the recruiter’s knowledge where possible.
Whatever the nature of the interview, it’s an opportunity expand your network, and understanding of the job market.
- Review & familiarise yourself with the resume you’ve sent to the recruiter.
- Identify your best examples of your strengths where you’ve demonstrated them in previous roles. Know your greatest achievements.
- Reflect on your motivations and behaviour in the workplace.
- Is there a job PD? All the clues will be there, especially any selection criteria.
- Tidy up & edit your LinkedIn profile; review profiles for the interviewer, people working in the company. Look for a company page, review latest developments in the industry, organisation.
- Dress to impress for the culture of the organisation.
- Double check location, transport, parking – get there early. There’s rarely a good excuse for being late.
- Know your market worth and what it would take for you to accept a job offer.
What to expect in an interview
A general interview vs a job-specific interview will be quite different, with the latter digging more into the requirements of a specific job.
Whatever the nature of the interview with a recruiter, be prepared for the following:
Tell me about yourself
Although I never asked this question, be prepared for some informal conversation at the beginning of the interview. While this is an exercise of courtesy and rapport-building, you’re being assessed from the get-go. And by the way, the receptionist has probably already shared her first impression with the recruiter.
While every recruiter has their preferred interviewing process, an open-ended question allows the recruiter to learn more about how you respond to these situations. Keep the response brief (which is where those 60 second commercials come in handy) and professional.
The recruiter is in control
In most cases the recruiter has allowed 30 minutes to an hour for the initial meeting. If the interview is directed towards a job you’ve applied for, expect a tight process which enables the recruiter to determine if you’re a good candidate, and worth progressing to the short-list stage. This is where your preparation pays off!