You have the experience. It’s a natural step. You’re really excited. For once the recruiter has hit the nail on the head and found you the perfect role. So why do you leave the interview feeling like you missed the mark? Worse still, why is the feedback that you weren’t quite strong enough?
There are definite themes in the reasons candidates fall down at interviewing, some of which are understandable and some unforgivable. Here are a selection of the most common and most easily addressed.
- Lack of Research – As a hiring manager myself, nothing frustrates me more than a candidate who has done less than a modicum of research. With so much information at our fingertips, it is unforgivable to not be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the company, the line manager, news stories, financials, etc.
- Not knowing your CV – You wrote it. You probably spent hours agonizing over what to include and what to exclude. You may have changed it so often that you need to re-familiarize. It is essential to read it before the interview, take a copy with you and have it in front of you. Much better to be overly cautious than caught short.
- Not preparing examples of your work in relation to the job at hand – A wise recruiter from my past taught me that an interview answer always requires an example, regardless of how theoretical the question. More importantly those examples should be structured and have a tangible result. We recommend the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Prepare the examples in advance. Drill yourself on them. Know them inside out. There is nothing worse than having the experience but failing to convey it.
- Poor eye contact or body language – There is lots of research on the power of assertiveness, strong handshakes, strong eye-contact. You don’t need to be Gordon Gekko, but poor performance in these areas can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in an interview situation.
- Lack of suitable questions – Most interviewers want someone to show an interest, have an enquiring mind, probe. An interview is a two-way dialogue and the quality of your questions will be assessed. Prepare some questions from your research, but also don’t be afraid to make notes in the interview and ask questions that arise as a result.
This is not an exhaustive list but concentrate on doing these basics well; be on time, be engaging and engaged and structure your answers well with good examples and you maximize your chances of success. If in doubt, ask your recruiter. It is, after all, their job to help you prepare.
Date: 04 June 2019
Author: Adrian O'Connor
Tags: Recruitment, Candidates, Interviews