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Regardless of how senior you are, a refresher of interview do’s and don’ts is helpful. Even the most obvious suggestions can be overlooked. Below we have assembled a few suggestions to help you make a positive impression.
Be prepared. Undertake preparatory research to ensure you understand the company, department and role before you arrive for the interview.
Arriving on time, in well-groomed attire whilst exuding a confident, polite and courteous manner will help to kick things off positively. First impressions matter!
Listen. The interviewer(s) will most probably outline an agenda for the meeting whilst clearly establishing timeline parameters and an overall objective. It is imperative that you actively support the process by acknowledging and following this schedule.
Be engaged. The hiring team will seek out technical capability to perform the job but equally important is ‘desire’ and ‘passion’. Remember to demonstrate sincere interest via posture and tone modulation. The occasional smile and an affirmative nod of agreement will help too.
Answer the question. Don’t evade a question and remember to provide an expansive response that will reinforce your credentials and expertise. Keep it relevant and on topic whilst remembering to clearly outline the key role and responsibility you held whilst placing this into the context of the overall team.
Differentiate. In a competitive landscape, it is important to shine. What is your ‘value add’ to the firm? What are your accomplishments? What was the situation and how did you achieve them? Do consider this crucial point before, and during, the interview.
Case Studies. With the growing prominence of ‘behavioural’ interviews, it is worthwhile preparing and discussing actual scenarios that demonstrate an encountered situation, what you did, how you did it and the result. Whilst factual, a case study will demonstrate how ‘you’ deliver solutions, manage teams, develop and roll-out strategy and more.
Ask questions. Remember that an interview should be a two-way discussion. Asking relevant questions about the role, the company culture, management style and vision for growth will generate open dialogue and allow you to determine if this is your preferred career move.
Motivation. A hiring manager will seek confirmation that you are genuinely interested in the position. Carefully explain why you might really be interested in the company, the sector and/or any career transition that might be entailed, such as a transformation from a Client-side role to a Service provider, for instance.
Remember to thank the interviewer for spending time to meet you. It is important to follow-up within a couple of days to re-state any interest you have in the position and to determine next steps.