You've secured yourself an interview during a pandemic, now what? The main advice is to make sure you BE YOURSELF, and remember, an interview is a two-way process! Here are our 5 P’s to focus on which will help you on your mission.
There are lots of questions to consider at this stage and it can be a minefield. The key is to prepare, both with regards to who you are and what your unique selling points are, and how your value proposition will really make a difference to the business you are hoping to work for.
The main advice is to make sure you BE YOURSELF, and remember, an interview is a two-way process! There are tools you can use to ensure you give yourself the best chance to present the best authentic version of yourself. Here are our 5 P’s to focus on which will help you on your mission:
For the majority of job opportunities it is important to note that the internet is your friend. Invest time in really getting to know the business and the individuals you will be meeting with. What is their real purpose for needing someone in post and what are their strategic objectives? Do the individuals on the panel have a specific personality type or background? These are all important areas to explore to help you gain an edge. The more preparation you undertake the more you will maximise your chances of success.
In most instances it is likely you will be meeting with one or maybe multiple human beings and it will be these human beings which decide who will decide your fate. Take the time to read their tone and body language and combine this with your research to make sure you engage them personally and in the most positive way. The key is to build a rapport and to leave them wanting to work with you. After all a successful career is all about the relationships and the interview is the best opportunity you have to lay the groundwork for that by being engaging and polite and making the interviewer feel positive about the experience.
Know your strengths and how to maximise upon them. Know your weaknesses and prepare to be asked about them. If you can master turning your weakness into a positive for this audience, then you are on to a winner. This will demonstrate rich self-insight and also assist you in steering the interview discourse into the areas which you are most comfortable with which will allow your personality to shine.
Whilst being authentic be mindful of the culture of the company. If it is a very serious business with a strict culture, then don’t be too friendly. If it is a fast-paced creative business, then be livelier and more assertive. Presenting yourself with the appropriate dress code, style and body language are all essential elements of ensuring you leave the interview with the panel members wanting you to join their business.
The art of a good interview is a skill. Like most skills that you have, practice makes perfect. You can practice your answers on your own, or with an accountability partner, or even a friend that can conduct a role play for you. If you really want to make a difference, then find a professional who can give you a really tough interview role play and then feedback on your answer and style. This way once the big day comes you will be completely ready for it.
Finally, it’s important to reiterate that an interview is a two-way process. If you feel like you shouldn’t say or ask something but aren’t sure if it’s “correct” but your instinct says it could add value, then do it. If you are going to find a role that will fulfill you long term you will need to be able to be yourself. Similarly, if an interview doesn’t go right or you don’t feel a positive relationship with the people on the other side of the table or the screen, don’t worry. Every interview is a learning process and sometimes you need to experience a few interviews before you can be certain that the job behind the door is the right one for you, with the right people, the right company, the right values and the right vision.