There are some things you should do in an interview, and some you shouldn’t… This is the SHOULD’s
Every once in a while something happens in my (Natasha Woodford, Director) day which makes me want to share that situation publicly so it doesn’t get repeated again! However, we’ll do it discretely. No naming and shaming! Running a recruitment company in the very specialist niche of Digital Marketing – albeit across all channels – our industry is incestuous. Everyone knows everyone, if not directly then at least one or two degrees apart. Keeping everything confidential is the nature of what we do, BUT I would like to share this.
Setting the scene… you’ve been invited to interview for a job you want. The question is, how are you going to differentiate yourself against everyone else? How are you going to nail that interview
You and I can’t change the experience you bring to the table, so let’s assume you’re good. In fact you’re really good! But then you also have to bear in mind the others interviewing might be too!
To make yourself stand out, it’s all about the preparation and your delivery at the interview.
Firstly, do your due diligence – research the company, their clients, their competitors…read their website and, if they have one, their blog. Don’t forget to look up who you’re meeting. See where they’ve come from, how long they’ve been there – perhaps you’ve got common ground or mutual connections? It’s NOT enough you for you to only have had a quick browse through the job description / advert!!
Secondly, make sure you come to the interview confident. There are lots of online tools which can run you through dummy interview scenarios, just to get you in the right mindset. It’ll make you think about your successes, your achievements, reasons why a company might want to hire you. Some people shy away from talking about their “wins”, but you’d better talk about them… because everyone else does. If you’re up against others who confidently discussed their achievements, and they are more prepared for the interview than you, it’s pretty likely they’ll be the one getting that job offer. You might even want to practice, ask a mate, your partner, even your parents if they can grill you for an interview… just to get you in the right frame of mind.
Remember you’re going to an interview, not meeting your friends at the pub. Dress appropriately. Whilst digital isn’t expecting the panache of legal court rooms, it is expecting you to present yourself well. If you can’t push yourself into a suit, then at least a shirt with a collar, trousers and shoes (not trainers!). At least for the first meeting. This is the moment to show them you want the job and if you turn up in uber trendy slashed jeans and trainers, it’s not really telling them you respect them or that you are prepared to put yourself out for this opportunity. DRESS SMART – our philosophy is be the best dressed person in the room. They’ve already got their job, they don’t need to be suited and booted – you do!
Most importantly, RELAX; and if you can’t relax, “fake” it. If you go in all uptight and nervous, the interviewer is never going to get the sense of who you are. Let them see how lovely you are. Be the best professional self you can be, allow your passion and enthusiasm to shine through.
There are then the obvious hints:
Be punctual – never be late for your interview, its just sets you up for failure.
Ask questions – not only will you gain information about the opportunity, the company and the role, but it shows the interviewer 1. your intelligence and 2. your real level of interest in this job – that you’ve thought about it and are trying to see how it would be with you in the role.
Draw on examples – before you interview, think about the role. Think of examples of when you’ve had comparable experience, been successful or showed potential. Be prepared to talk about when it’s gone right, and when it’s not (we’re all human), but tell them with the hindsight of how you could have done it better. Getting yourself a promotion in a career move is tough, being able to show an employer why you deserve a pay rise; perhaps it’s your skills, your training or your potential – be prepared to talk about it!
Thank them for their time and, if you’re able to, ask them what will be the next step – this is a gentle way of asking whether you’ve done well. However, if it’s a sales role, be bullish. Ask them if there is anything you’ve said today that they’re not comfortable with or you can elaborate on more to ensure you’re right for this opportunity. As if this is for a sales role, you’ll be wanting to “close the deal“!
Most of all, best of luck and if you’re interviewing through clockworkTalent, call us straight after and let us know how it went! We want to know your gut impression, we want to hear whether you think it’s the right job for you and whether you want to work with whomever interviewed you! Your feedback is just (if not more) important than the employers. Because if you didn’t like it / them, we need to know so we can refine our thoughts on who you want to work for and what you want to do!!
We’ve talked here about Do’s for interviewing. Some seem basic but you’d be surprised how when it comes to interviewing it all goes out the window for some people, so better to lay down the facts and spell it out!
My next blog publication will be on the Don’t’s for interviewing!! Keep an eye out for it!
If you ever find yourself in the position of looking for a career opportunity in Digital, whatever the channel or job function, reach out to clockworkTalent or call Natasha directly on 0774 7778390.