If you are looking to advance your career, a successful job interview is one of the most important steps you’ll take. To ensure your next interview is a success, whether it’s taking place in-person, over video or on the phone, you need to consider three crucial and distinct steps – your pre-interview preparation, the interview itself and essential post-interview actions.
Step 1: Before the interview. Research the industry, organisation, hiring manager and role by speaking to your recruiter and reviewing news stories, websites and LinkedIn. Plan how you will introduce yourself and talk through your ‘story’ so far. Don’t forget to also research the STAR technique, prepare for common questions and plan suitable questions that you can ask.
Step 2: On the day of the interview. Make a good first impression and build rapport with your interviewer by smiling, remembering their name, being mindful of your non-verbal communication, never interrupting, asking follow-up questions and trying to relax and be your true, authentic self. Have a few strategies to fall back on if your mind goes blank.
Step 3: After your interview – what’s next? Once your interview is over, talk to your recruiter straight away, follow up with a thank you email for the interviewer and give your references a heads-up. If you remain unsure if the job is right for you, ask if you feel excited by what you heard in the interview, are aligned to the organisation’s purpose and are impressed by your potential new manager.
If you are invited back for a second interview, don’t assume the format will be the same as the first interview. Check with your recruiter and ask who will be attending – most likely you’ll meet someone more senior and be introduced to more team members. Understand what the interview is trying to assess – most second interviews are held to determine your level of interest, unearth examples that demonstrate you have the skills required, check your cultural fit and address any reservations. Expect your availability and salary expectations to come up, too.
For further job interview advice, download our complete Hays Interview Guide.
Written by Alex Jones, Regional Director of Hays Office Support