Once you’ve got a potential employer interested in your CV, the interview is your chance to seal the deal. Candidates are now moving to a new role every 2-3 years. That means the process of searching, applying and selling yourself never is an ongoing one – so it pays off hugely to really hone your interview skills.
Here are five tips that will give you a definite edge and should lead to a stronger level of confidence.
- Show a genuine interest!
This might sound basic but it’s those basics that are often the first to slip. Interviews often want to know why a candidate is interested in a particular role.
Take the time to assess the role and the company, and this preparation will shine through. Show that you’ve considered the long term impact this role will have on your career. Being able to articulate this is essential.
Demonstrate your excitement and passion for the opportunity. From the interviewer’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than finishing an interview and not knowing if the candidate really wanted the job or not.
- Be ready to answer the question, ‘What do you know about our company/team?’
This question can sometimes feel like a pop-quiz, a challenge to demonstrate your research. And maybe it is. But it’s also an opportunity excite the interviewer and prove that you have an interesting, nuanced view on their business.
Go deeper than the About Us section on the website. What is the team doing differently? Or, what ideas do you have about what they could be doing differently?
Use your knowledge of the market and the sector to the fullest. Is there a new technology, or a regulatory ruling that could impact the company? How could you contribute?
- Know your Strengths
What you don’t want is to look back on the interview and realise you didn’t properly articulate your areas of strength. You’ll probably always reflect and think about things you could have done better. But being aware of this will help you to minimise the number of these missed opportunities.
Don’t leave the interview – or the meeting, or the coffee get-together – without articulating your key 3-5 strengths. When it comes to weaknesses or ‘areas of improvement’ then clarify how you have overcome challenges in the past. Prepare this beforehand and make it convincing!
- Practice Competency/Behavioural based interviews
Competency-based interviews often sound quite complicated. But in simple terms, what you need to do is read through the job spec, and think of examples from your own background that answer those requirements.
Special tip – be honest! It will come out if you have exaggerated your experience. This is where reading through the job spec with a highlighter and practicing is key. If you aren’t successful it may mean you are not ready for this particular role just yet but should not make you less determined to get there.
- Ask Great Questions
Think about what you really want to know – about the company, the role, the interviewer, the team, management style etc.
When you leave the interview, you should have a really clear sense of what will be expected from you in the first 6 months of your role. You should understand what the challenges will be and ideally the path others in similar roles have taken to promotion in the past.
The goal overall is to know for sure if this is the role for you. Working through your career goals and understanding how this role fits those goals is key.
Finally, say thanks! If you are interested, tell the interviewer! And then walk out knowing you have given it your very best shot (and go and cross your fingers).
For a discussion about Financial Services Jobs in Dublin, please contact Paul McClatchie, Director, Engage People