It’s essential to make sure you get the most out of the short time you have at an interview to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job. I’ve noted below some hints and tips which are useful in preparing for an interview which will help you in making a good first impression, and hopefully, will aid you in getting to the next stage in the selection process:-
1. The 3 ‘P’s: Be Punctual, Plan, & Be Positive
The biggest mistake a candidate can make when arriving for interview is to arrive late – be PUNCTUAL! Make sure you PLAN your journey carefully to ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes early. When you arrive make sure you know the names of the people who will be interviewing you and ensure you greet them in a professional manner with a firm hand-shake and a POSITIVE attitude. Be upbeat and enthusiastic. Employers latch on to negative messages, so don’t give them any.
2. Research the Company
It’s important to prepare in advance; there’s no such thing as enough preparation for an interview. Find out everything you can about the company and their list and products. What are their most recent titles? Who are their key authors? What markets do they serve? Show you are up to date by looking at current company news. And get a good understanding about their competition. Have a few facts in mind about the organisation so that you can demonstrate that you’ve done your research. It’s important to also show your interest in the organisation by asking any specific questions, these may be about the role, or the company as a whole.
3. Know your Strengths
Sell yourself – give examples from your work history to demonstrate your strengths and your relevance for the role. Remember: employers buy experience. Think about the evidence of achievement you can talk about in the interview; rehearse your success stories and give strong examples of your strengths. Employers are most interested in your relevant and recent experience.
4. Dress Smart
Make sure that you are smartly presented for the interview. You want your appearance to show that you are professional and well-organised. But also make sure you are comfortable in what you’re wearing; you don’t want to fidget and give off nervous body-language.
5. Understand Interview Techniques
Traditional interviews ask candidates general questions such as “Tell me about yourself”. In a behavioural interview, candidates will be asked to describe how they behaved in a specific situation in their career history, and why they behaved in that way. The interviewer will probe further for more depth or detail such as “Tell me more about your meeting with that author,” or “Lead me through your decision process”.
This technique is used to evaluate a candidate’s experiences and behaviours so they can determine the applicant’s potential for success. For example, some of the characteristics that a company may look for are:
- Ability to multi-task
- Willingness to learn
- Ability to work in a team
- Project management skills
- An eye for detail
- Specific subject knowledge
As a candidate, you should be equipped to answer the questions thoroughly. In the interview, your response needs to be specific and detailed.
By Verity Hawson
Senior Consultant at Inspired Selection – International Publishing Recruitment