How to Ace Every Stage Of The Interview Process

Published on June 25, 2018
Written by Lee Eggleston

Whilst your career history and skill set have attracted the interest of the hiring manager, the interview is the most important stage of the recruitment process. It could land you your dream job or result in you missing out on an opportunity you felt you were perfect for.

An interview is the opportunity for you to leave a lasting impression with the hiring manager and to demonstrate you are the best person for the job. Learn how to ace the five key stages in the interview process:

1) Research the Role and Company:

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the better prepared you are, the more relaxed and comfortable you will be when the interview questions begin – but don’t go overboard!

Before the interview, relate your experience to the prerequisites of the role, the company and the opportunity. Search online for more information and view the company’s website for more detailed news and insight into its culture.

Research your interviewers on LinkedIn to learn about their career history and how long they have been in their current role. It’s a great conversation topic and shows that you have an interest in them. A little rapport goes a long way!

Currently, in the business services sector we’re finding that it’s very much a ‘buyers market’ in the fact that good quality accountants are hard to find. Subsequently, companies are interviewing these excellent candidates without particular job specifications, or in some cases, even a job. If this happens to you, set some time aside to really think about what your expectations are from your next role. What’s important to you? What are your ‘non-negotiables’? Ensure your values align with the company.

2) Plan Ahead:

Ask a friend, or better yet, your recruitment consultant to conduct a mock interview (I’m a very good actor – a younger, taller Robert de Niro, some may say).

Work out the logistics of getting to the interview to avoid any additional stress. Turning up late looking flustered and dishevelled is not a great look!

Make sure you look the part. Look, act and dress professionally. Business attire should be worn. Clean shoes, clean fingernails and well-groomed hair are important.

3) During the Interview:

A firm (but not hand shattering!) handshake with a big smile will do wonders when you first meet your interviewer. Some small chit-chat from the reception area to the interview room will also help. Receptionists will often to be the eyes of the company when you first enter the building – this is your first chance to make a great impression.

Simple things like sitting up straight, leaning forward slightly and always maintaining good eye contact with the interviewer or panel are all very important techniques.

If offered a drink, it makes sense to accept; this can help and can be used as a prop to perhaps give you some time to answer a question requiring some thought.

4) Interview Questions:

Everyone present will be focusing their attention on you so make sure you answer questions honestly, directly and to the point. If you are not certain about a particular question, don’t be afraid to ask if it can be rephrased. Listen, never interrupt and don’t go off topic.

There are common questions which arise in most job interviews and while you should be prepared, try not to rehearse answers that are too precise. These include your general background, qualifications, experience, reasons for applying, and career objectives.

Treat the interview as a two-way discussion and make sure you have an arsenal of questions to ask them so you fully understand what is expected in the role and to give you a holistic understanding of the company.

Depending on the feeling you get at the interview and how confident you are, a great question to ask is as simple as “why wouldn’t I get hired for the role”?. This gives the option of them coming back with anything they are unsure of and gives you the chance to answer any niggling doubts from their side.

5) End of the Interview:

At the end of your interview, smile and thank the panel for their time. Usually they will be interviewing multiple candidates for a role, so make sure their final impression of you is positive. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Should an offer of employment be made at the conclusion of any interview you attend (lucky you!) it is not unreasonable to request a short period of time to consider the offer before formally accepting.

Don’t forget to follow our Lawson Delaney company page on LinkedIn for further advice to assist you with your job search and to keep up to date with the latest available opportunities.

Published on June 25, 2018
Written by Lee Eggleston

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