World cup fever is everywhere and there is hope and anticipation to see how England performs. The question still being asked by many, are we taking the right players? How did Fabio Capello make the decision? Luckily for Capello he has been able to watch the players perform and evaluate the dynamics of the team, when it comes to interviewing and getting the right candidate employers are not as lucky. How can you maximise your chances of selection at interview?
Nothing strikes fear into our hearts like the word “interview”- everyone knows they have a short time to impress. The key thing to remember is the best candidate does not always secure the position – the candidate who portrays them self the best does. I asked a number of Yorkshire professionals what their worst interview experience has been.
Those who have been looking to employ staff have had some amusing and insightful experiences. Candidates have turned up with parents and girlfriends who have wanted to sit in on the interview. One common interview mistake is turning up in inappropriate clothing, unfinished suits, flip flops, shorts and less than ideal standards in personal hygiene. Give yourself the best opportunity of securing the position by dressing appropriately- this is your chance to make the right impression.
The other side of the coin is how a company can let itself down by being unprofessional or disorganised. Another issue that still raises its ugly head is people being asked inappropriate questions at interview on religion sexuality or their likely hood to have children. One of my favourite stories is from Steve who was interviewed by a man who insisted on sitting on a raised pedestal and arranged the interview for the exact time the sun would light up his position in a transcendent glow.
A common theme seems to be Interviewers running late, forgetting candidates are attending, leaving the room without explanation and the biggest bug bear being obviously uninterested in what the candidate had to say. Andy actually had an interviewer fall asleep during his interview. How should candidates react in these types of situation? The biggest message I think anyone can take from this is if a company cannot get it right at interview stage- there is a good chance they are not the organisation for you, interviews are a two way process.
Give yourself the best opportunity to impress. The key things to remember:
- Preparation – find as much information as you can on the company and the role. This will allow you to ask insightful questions and demonstrate your professionalism to the employer.
- Practice – think about your skills and experience and how you can best portray these to a potential employer.
- Presentation – dress smartly, even if the company has a dress down day. This is your chance to make the right impression and being well presented will increase your confidence.
Q: I attended an interview and have not heard back from the organisation or the recruiter, should I assume I have not secured the position?
A: Whenever you attend an interview you should follow up, it is a common complaint that recruiters do not provide feedback. I would try and chase this up and ask for feedback. It may be that this role has been filled but in future remember to chase things up.
Q: I always find it difficult to think o questions to ask at the end of the interview – would this be perceived as a negative?
A: You should always always ask questions. The key to this is planning the questions in advance. It is fine to take a list of questions with you to refer to during the interview. As part of your research on the company you should identify areas you would like to know more about.
Q: I tend to ramble at interview and find it hard to keep to the point. How can I avoid this?
A: Prepare and practice! Identify the key elements of the job specification and think about how your skills match. Practice answering questions on each of these areas. There is only a finite number of questions you can be asked and investing time before the interview will increase your chances of success.