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Interview Techniques for Success

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Job interviews at any level of employment can be intimidating but if you prepare correctly, you can give yourself the best possible opportunity to succeed. The uncertain nature of an interview can make any seasoned professional nervous but with the correct preparation you can combat any pre-interview nerves from arising. Whether your initial interview is face-to-face, online or over the telephone thorough preparation is key. Remember that first impressions count for everything, and this is an opportunity to promote yourself above the competition, over confidence cannot factor into the interviewing process but being prepared can give a candidate the tools to potentially achieve their dream position. Remember an interview is not just an employer asking a candidate questions to gauge their experience and qualifications but also to figure out the candidates personality and whether they will fit in with the current team that is already been assembled. Our team is experienced in both sides of the interview and as such the advice we present to candidates in this post should be utilized in any candidates preparation for an interview.

Research the Company

This may seem obvious but researching the company is a crucial element to preparing for an interview. Some interviewers may ask for your knowledge on the company and where you feel they need improvement. Having that research fresh in your memory will give you the tools to answer those questions with confidence.

Have some questions for the interviewer

An interview is a conversation, as such you should have some questions prepared for the interviewer. Not only will this show that as a candidate you have an interest in the business but will also show your character to the interviewer feeding into the analysis they are conducting of you to see your fit into the team. Here are a few good questions to ask during an interview:

How will my performance be measured, and how often is it reviewed?

What long-term career opportunities are available to me?

What upskilling and training opportunities will I be offered?

What are the key challenges of the role, particularly in the first 6 months?

How many people are in my team and what are their roles?

What would be my day-to-day responsibilities?

What benefits are offered to employees?

How would you describe the culture of the company?

Who will I report to directly?

How do you see this role developing over time?

The best way to answer some tricky questions during the interview.

Certain questions asked by interviews have stumped even the most experienced candidates in the past, the way to answer these questions can be dependent on the atmosphere of the interview as well as the type of candidate you are and the company you are wanting to join. Here we will break down the best ways to answer those difficult questions:

Why do you want this job?

This initially seems like a simple question but has caught candidates out due to them not expressing themselves in the correct manor. This is the time to express your interest in both the position and the company, remember that the interviewer is searching for a candidate that will add value to their company so showing a willingness to progress and develop is key. Take note of the companies values and mission statement if this something you can be passionate about. Then this is the question to discuss that and show the interviewer how you can help the company reach their goals. Focus on the role at hand, if you have a skill that will be advantageous to the company, talk about it here by mentioning specific roles within the opportunity you are applying for. Make sure not to come across as desperate or needy for this role, do not mention the pay during an initial interview, making the role sound like a stepping-stone and do not come across as overconfident or brag about being "over-qualified".

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question once again comes down to planning before entering the interview, having a career roadmap that you can explain to an interviewer shows you are forward thinking and career driven. Do not make out that the position you are interviewing for is a stepping-stone however, this is an undesirable answer. Whilst answering this question, try to link your answer and plans to the role and organisation you are applying for throughout. If, however you are early on in your career, discussing how this position is a vital part of your career and your plans to grow within the organisation and the industry. Discussing your personal life in too much detail is not advised here either, you can mention details to add to your answer, showing you can set both long and short term goals. Ultimately you as a candidate are attending the interview to develop yourself in both skills to be learnt and your career experience. Having a plan for yourself prior to this question is crucial and here is where you reveal it. Do not be too detailed on specifics, mentioning certain salary expectations or job titles can be too much detail for this question. There is no clear and obvious answer for this question, your career path cannot be rigid and perfect, and the interviewer knows this. They are simply asking to see where you want to be and if your goals line up with the companies plans too.

What interests you about this role?

Avoiding generic answers to this question is tough but some prior research into the company and what the role offers is vital. Tailor your response to the interview and your level of knowledge of the role and company. Here are a few different approaches for answering this question:

Focus on yourself: if you understand how the company works and the team within it, being able to talk about how you will fit into that culture seamlessly is ideal. Progression within a company is also a desirable quality an interviewer is looking for, if you as a candidate can show enthusiasm for the role and that you are wanting to progress internally that is desirable too.

Focus on the company: Showing a prior interest in the company rather than stating you need the job for bills etc shows that you are invested in your own personal growth but the companies too. Focus in on their history if it is easily accessible and show how their previous successes have encouraged you to apply and you are wanting to be apart of their future successes. If, however there has been a problem or challenge for the company that you are aware of, mention how you could help to solve it by bringing a solution. Be modest and no not oversell your qualities though. This shows your understanding of the companies goals and how you plan to help them achieve those goals.

Focus on the role: Dig deep into the job description and use that as the basis for your answer, talk about how your prior experiences in other jobs make you suitable for the position and what you can bring to the table. Alternatively, if you are new into your career discussing how the position could give you valued experience and is an amazing opportunity for you to learn and grow with the company. Showing such hunger to progress is a desirable quality and one that should be utilized alongside your unique set of skills.

If you are interested in discussing your future further on exploring your career opportunities further contact Spencelooker Recruitment here.

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