The Interviewee: Do’s and Don’ts
You’ve done the difficult part and secured an interview with a Company you’d really like to work for, but how to stand out and hopefully nail it?
GRL’s Consultants advise and interview thousands of people each year and were asked to provide some tips and absolute NO’s:
Some of The Very Basics, but worth highlighting as it’s still too often overlooked:
- Be fully prepared, start with a detailed review of the company, the structure of its business, its website, news, self-publicity, awards, key personnel, the work undertaken, note any success – repeat success stories back at interview.
- Review Social Media/online footprint, especially LinkedIn, Twitter – are there individuals within the business pushing out information in a personal or business capacity? – follow them. Company pages, what are they saying about themselves? How is it framed.
- Know your own CV. It’s amazing how many people forget the detail – The panel will have poured over it, so any skills you highlight are great but must be backed by real examples; also provide a list of ‘key achievements’ and hammer these home.
Ensure you have a detailed understanding of the Job Description. Again, this sounds simple know how your skills match those required – identify any shortfalls and how would you address them? – take it with you to the interview, make notes.
Good practice is to structure your CV to the job description, more weight in key areas, and making your CV easy to understand and take information from – https://grllegal.com/six-simple-steps-impactful-cv/.
- Undertake specific research on those interviewing you – if not sure who, then ask – use some of the same tools as above – repeat stories of success relevant to those interviewing.
If you’ve got it, let them have it – one of the best assets you can bring to any interview is your personality. Be warm, friendly and engaging, but not a pain. Good companies and businesses are now much more focused on candidate engagement and selling themselves – they expect you to do the same. If you don’t like what they say or they say it in a language you don’t understand, then this may not be the role for you.
Body language get it right, engage and be positive. Try and relax (easy for us to say!) – we’ve witnessed some seriously bad habits including non-stop fidgeting, profuse sweating and, yes, even constant swearing! Oh dear, not a great start or best look in front of potential colleagues.
Gauge the room. Some interviewers will adopt a more casual, informal approach, but don’t take that as a cue to put your feet up, be comfortable, stay focused and remain personable. In the case of a more formal interview, the norm for the legal sector, which often includes a panel containing lawyers – good luck – they often have the best poker faces in the business!
Ask relevant questions – don’t be afraid to ask direct or tricky questions, if you want to know something, ask (do stay off the personal stuff at least until you’ve got the role!). Bring the job description, refer to it, bring a notebook, ask questions, take notes – which interviewer doesn’t like a candidate taking notes?
Relax, don’t panic and be honest – If you don’t have experience then say so, the key is to highlight this positively but give examples as to where you’ve previously and successfully up-skilled and how this benefited you and your previous employers/clients – we’ve seen people needlessly back themselves in to tight corners trying to describe experience they didn’t have – help!
After the interview
Take many a deep breath – you probably discussed the timeframe for a response towards the end of the interview, stick to it. If there’s no news by an agreed day/time, then do request an update – good companies/employers will move quickly either way. If it’s a no, then always seek detailed feedback – this isn’t a legal requirement but best practice. Take the advice onboard and move on to the next opportunity – repeat as above, good luck.
We can assist – GRL Legal provides a free career clinic on the last Wednesday of the month. https://grllegal.com/events/cv-and-career-clinic-news-and-events/