CareerCamLive: 3 Key Interview Tips
Alternatively, I have picked three questions from the list that you asked me and I’ve summarised the answers in this blog post….so here we go.
I had an interview last week, it went fairly well but before I got there I was sat in reception…there was company literature, reception staff, a TV, other reading materials, motivational posters etc. What do I look at first, would recruiters analyse my behaviour at this stage?
It’s hard to say if they were ‘analysing’ you as everyone is different. However, I can tell you that this has been the case everywhere I have worked. Hiring managers continually tell me that they do the same also.
When I first started doing a large amount of volume recruitment, I would always ask our receptionist to speak to the interviewee. Ask them if they want a drink, or if they found us ok? I would want to know how they conducted themselves. Were they polite? Rude? Friendly? Engaging?
Unfortunately some people forget to treat the receptionist with the same level of respect as they do the hiring manager and they are slightly dismissive or rude to them. Thankfully this is rare as I think the receptionist is one of the most important people in a business. They have to know everyone and they are the first point of contact for all of your customers.
Do read as much of the company literature as possible. You may get some additional ideas for questions and conversations during the interview. I wouldn’t use this as an opportunity to check your texts one last time. Don’t underestimate how influential people who you meet in the waiting area can be and be polite and engaging to everyone you come across.
What do agency interviews involve? Are they as in depth as a real job interview?
Interviews with recruitment agencies are slightly different from interviews with the end employer, but just as important!
Always dress the way you would for an interview with a hiring manager and treat it as seriously as you would if you were off to meet your dream employer. You want this recruitment consultant to promote you to more than one of their clients. If they are going to ‘sell’ you, they must put their own reputation on the line and convince their client to consider your application. They have to believe in you in order to work hard for you, so give them something to believe in.
Help them help you. You can do this by giving them a breakdown of your achievements. You can write them a list of companies that you would love to work for and give them the reasons why. You should also provide as many positive references as you can get. Your recruiter can and will use all of this information to help differentiate you from the other candidates and secure you that last interview slot.
I know I should write a thank you note, but do they really add value or have they already made their mind up anyway?
I am always surprised by the amount of people who do not send thank you notes after interviews. You are correct to think that people have often already made their mind up after the interview. However, you are never really going to know that for sure?
You also want to keep a good relationship with this person, even if you are not successful. They may have another role coming up in the future or they may be friends with the person who is interviewing you next week. You just never know, and building a strong network should always be your agenda.
Please, please send notes after interviews and consider a hand written note also, as this shows such thoughtful consideration (something we all look for in people when we are hiring).
Just ensure you don’t send a generic note saying how nice it was to meet them. Use this opportunity to make an impact. Tell them how much you want this opportunity. Pick one thing that you and they discussed in the interview that really impressed you and focus on that. If you are going to send a thank you note, make it count!
If you want to get involved in the next month’s CareerCamLive then tune in at 7pm on 6th November. Send us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them live on the show.